The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) conducted the first national symposium for Sri Lanka’s National Export Strategy (NES) with more than 150 public and private sector representatives to plan the next export growth cycle of the country.
Following is the message by Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, delivered to mark Sri Lanka’s First National Export Strategy Symposium held at the Temple Trees.
The rubber industry in Sri Lanka has the potential to grow bigger than the garment industry. “Unfortunately, foreign investors have not seen the possibility of this factor,” says Global Rubber Industries Ltd (GRI) Managing Director Prabhash Subasinghe.According to GRI, a leading industrial solid tyre manufacturer based in Sri Lanka; supplying solid tyres to Original Equipment (OE) manufacturers and replacement markets in more than 45 countries worldwide since 2001; Sri Lanka is the world’s largest producer of high-quality solid tyres, dominating about 60% of the global market.
Two Sri Lankans won GRC Wickham awards at the Global Rubber Conference 2014 (GRC) held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on 28 October.
“At the next Global Rubber Conference, the knowledge received at today’s sessions should be reflected and evaluated. In such a background it is important for us to continuously review developments in all the closely related aspects and industries including the global economy and currencies as well,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said while speaking at the conference.
The local rubber industry received much emphasis yesterday with the Global Rubber Conference (GRC) 2014 kicking off in Colombo.
The four-day event, which started on 27 October, is taking place for the fourth consecutive year.
The GRC is recognised to be one of the world’s leading conferences on natural rubber and NR-based products and is held on an annual basis rotating in different rubber-producing countries.
Organised by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) and Confexhub with the support from the Ministry of Plantation Industries and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the event saw about 250 delegates from over 25 countries come together to discuss and get updated on the pertinent issues affecting the global rubber industry.
Sri Lanka has an impressive record in the planting, production and export of rubber which is today the third largest sector to the country’s economy, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Rubber is an important part of the country’s plantation sector and its contribution to agro-industry provides gainful employment to more than 300,000 persons making it a mainstay in the socio-economic aspects of the country, he added.
Sri Lankan Rubber and Rubber products have today earned worthy recognition for good quality and reliability in the international market, he stated.
As the first ever Global Rubber Confab to be held in Sri Lanka is announced on 28 August, the country positioned its historic rubber industry to be a $ 3B sector. And a top global rubber body voiced that rubber prices would recover ‘before very long’.
“We are now aiming at an ambitious $3B rubber industry in the coming decade. To arrive at this $3B in a viable manner, it is essential for us to support our rubber farmers. I believe it is time for a long term development plan for this sector. The 2013 rubber exports of $960 Mn is a 100% increase compared to rubber exports five years ago” said a keen Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 29 August in Colombo.
Sri Lanka has garnered more than $4.6 Mn orders at the recently concluded Kunming Int’l Fair in China-and this too is only from the initial overview of Kunming outcomes rather than any in-depth totals. “I am pleased of the performance of the delegation of 119 companies and businesses that I led to Kunming. I commend EDB for this successful facilitation effort” said a satisfied Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 31 July in Colombo.
The rubber industry is facing great challenges from an increasingly competitive global market, said Dr Abdul Aziz, Secretary General of International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB) and also the Chairman of Confexhub Malaysia on Thursday in Colombo.
Announcing the Global Rubber Conference to be held in Sri Lanka in October, he said that in the past few years, many other commodities had surpassed the rubber industry and therefore, it was imperative for the rubber industry to gear up and meet those challenges. The 4th Global Rubber Conference (GRC 2014), one of the world’s leading conferences on rubber sector, is to be held in Colombo from October 27 to 30.
In 2013, Sri Lanka's natural rubber sheet exports stood at US $71.6 million, while the export of finished rubber goods stood at US $ 887 million, compared to US $ 856 million in 2012, an increase of 4%, said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen at the inauguration of the second edition of Sri Lanka PLAST and the first edition of RUBEXPO at the BMICH last week.
“Our plastic exports stand at US $60.11 million compared to US $ 57 million in 2012, an increase of 5%. We encourage value addition for rubber exports. These two sectors have been identified as thrust industries and are expected to contribute significantly to national economic growth and help meet our planned 7.8% GDP target this year,” he said.“Our company exports rubber products and slippers to India in fairly large quantities.
Enterprising Fairs India Limited, a B2B exhibition company from India, has collaborated with the Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka (PRISL), to conduct their second edition of Sri Lanka Plast – a Plastics Expo and the first edition of Rubexpo – a Rubber Expo on 14, 15 and 16 August 2014 at BMICH, Colombo. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), Export Development Board (EDB), Industrial Development Board (IDB), Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka (RRISL) and Central Institute of Plastics and Engineering Technology, a government body of India (CIPET) have also extended their support to these B2B exhibitions.
The Plastics and Rubber Industry in Sri Lanka (PRISL), the apex organization focused on the training and development of manpower needed to the emerging requirements of the plastics and rubber based industries in Sri Lanka, has successfully accomplished three significant events
PRISL achieved a significant milestone in its history of 55 years when it launched a training programme on the practical aspects of rubber processing technology, with the support of Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce.
Morocco has shown keen interest to boost trade and industrial cooperation with Sri Lanka.
“We need to expand our bilateral trade as well as our industrial cooperation. Investors from both countries can also enter into joint ventures in many sectors; we are strong in rubber and fishery -technologies that Sri Lanka can benefit from us considerably,” said Moroccan Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Larbi Reffouch during his recent meeting with Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen at the Export Development Board.