The Export Development Board will be launching ‘Sri Lanka Expo 2012’ – a trade show for international buyers in March 2012, it was announced last week.
Speaking at an exporter’s networking session hosted by the Export Development Board at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce Minister Bathiudeen said, “Sri Lanka Expo 2012 milestone exhibition will showcase Sri Lanka’s new export capabilities to international buyers.” He was quoted in a press release as saying at the session that as a country Sri Lankans have a collective responsibility to mobilise national resources to design an optimal basket of exports that will carry Sri Lanka towards the envisioned export target of $ 20 billion by 2020-and even beyond. “In this endeavour our success will depend on finding new markets while at the same time effectively diversifying our export products. In fact, such an approach of sustained diversification will ensure new market opportunities to Sri Lanka,” Minister Bathiudeen said.
With concerted efforts to improve competitiveness, he said the government has been able to achieve its international trade ambitions. In this context, the strategic plan launched by the Export Development Board with the help of the relevant stakeholders will play a crucial role to propel Sri Lanka towards the envisioned goal, the Minister said, adding, “The 2012 event will be a very innovative occasion that will attract a considerable number of new and potential buyers from around the world. It will undoubtedly expand your export trading opportunities and increase the export revenues as well.”
Many private sector exporters welcomed the move, the statement said. G.E.L Silva, Managing Director of G.P. De Silva & Sons Int’l, a Board of Investment firm which netted US$18 million in foreign revenues for Sri Lanka in 2010 through its cinnamon export, said: “This is a good initiative to take Sri Lanka’s message of competitiveness to the international markets. Of course, it depends on how effectively it would be organized and showcased. On the sidelines, I get to save on my expenses for international fairs and exhibitions that I have to pocket out by myself.” His firm is one of the largest private sector cinnamon exporters in Sri Lanka.