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Sunday, 7 November 2004  
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Cheap imported goods affect local industry

by L.B. Wijayasiri

Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana told the media that the local industry, under the present context, could not compete with cheap goods imported from abroad.

The standard of local products should be raised to meet that challenge. Only modern science and technology could help local industry. Modern technology was the engine of development.

Prof. Vitharana made those observations wen he addressed a media conference held at the board room of the Faculty of Engineering University of Peradeniya held in connection with the Industry Day 2004, conducted in the Faculty.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Kapila Gunasekara, Dean Faculty of Engineering Dr. S.D. Pathirana, Chairman Engineering Institute of Sri Lanka L.C.R. de Silva Chairman, 'Industry Day 2004' organising Committee Dr. U.I. Dissanayake and President Engineering Student's Union associated with the minister.

By saying that we are developing our industry will not serve any purpose. It is of vital importance, to raise the standard of our products by making use of the creative research, but unfortunately Sri Lanka is one of the countries which spent a minimum proportion out of the Gross National Income for research Sri Lanka spent one per cent out of GNP whereas Bangladesh spent two per cent, India 1.3 per cent. Korea exceed 2 per cent. Developing countries spend more than 2.5 per cent.

"From next year the quota system in the garment industry will cease to exist. Then our garment industry will not be able to compete abroad. Technologists and scientists should improve the standard of our products to face that challenge. In that context funds required for research should be made available. In this the private sector too should make some investment on research hand in hand with the government," added Minister Vitharana.

Dean of the faculty of Engineering Dr. S.D. Pathirana explained that the faculty was now equipped with an engineering design centre for the benefit of local industry and the Faculty had launched a system of interaction between engineering profession and local industry with the view to improve the quality and standard of local products.

Chairman, Institute of Engineering, Sri Lanka L.C.R. de Silva also addressed the media.

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