Business Times

Sri Lanka aims to modernise plastic sector

Sri Lanka's plastic industry is getting a facelift with the Industry Ministry and UNIDO launching a new national initiative to upgrade it, according to a Ministry statement. "As our per capita plastic consumption is set to increase from current 6 kg to 8 kg and plastic has become an indispensable item in our lives and manufacturing, I believe this is the right time to strengthen this sector and we are launching a new national initiative with UNIDO which aims to increase production and income volumes by almost 40%," according to Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka.

He made these comments during a recent meeting in Colombo with a delegation from the International Centre for Advancement of Manufacturing Technology (ICAMT). Nawaz Rajabdeen, UNIDO National Director for Sri Lanka who is facilitating the new initiative, was quoted in the Ministry press release as saying that the initial project value is $1.75 million. "We want to go into a detailed assessment of our plastic setor before commencing the modernisation assistance," he said.

According to UNIDO, annual plastics consumption in Sri Lanka is close to 140,000 metric tonnes, with an estimated growth rate of 10-12%. More than 900 businesses in Sri Lanka are engaged in plastics processing for both domestic and international market, the bulk of them being in SME scale.

Mahendra Singh Dhakad, Programme Director-ICAMT said the objective of the national level project is to enhance the competitive position of the plastics industry in Sri Lanka through technology modernization, skill enhancement, quality improvement and market development.

The proposed action plan is multidimensional since the modernisation of production processes will also help employment, quality and export growth, ISO facilitation and quality management systems and in general, an industry wide upgrade, the Ministry release said.

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