National Export Strategy: Launch this week | Sunday Observer

National Export Strategy: Launch this week

The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) with the Ministry of International Trade and Development Strategies in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (lTC) Geneva will launch the ‘National Export Strategy (NES) of Sri Lanka’ under the patronage of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday at Temple Trees.

The NES is a comprehensive and carefully structured five-year strategy aimed at increasing exports and generating enhanced revenue for Sri Lanka’s SMEs and exporters. The implementation of this endeavour will witness the increasing of Sri Lanka’s export revenue to USD$ 28 billion by 2022.

The priority sectors have been selected to ensure a balanced export expansion from visionary, emerging and mature sectors. In line with the objectives of the NES for an innovative and diversified export sector, the national stakeholders, using quantitative and qualitative information, have selected the following industries: IT-BPM, Spices and Concentrates, Wellness Tourism, Processed Food and Beverages, Boat-building, and Electrical and Electronic machinery.

“The focus of the Government is to shift the economic growth model from one that was heavily dependent on debt fuelled public infrastructure spending, to growth driven by more public enterprises, exports and foreign direct investment,” Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama said.

State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said, “As Sri Lanka’s export basket diversifies and with renewed interests in newer products in the local markets, Trade Information and Promotion will help to market Sri Lanka to foreign investors. I am confident that the National Export Strategy will have a tangible role in attracting more Foreign Direct Investment to Sri Lanka.”

President National Chamber of Exporters, Ramal Jasinghe said, “The NES is a well thought and coordinated effort and it is a great example of PPP mechanism. All stakeholders were involved in all the stages of the preparation of the strategy and the facilitation of ITC is a clear evidence that the NES was a well thought document.”

The private sector, particularly the exporters were clamoring for consistency in policies. The NES is the first step for a robust and sustainable policy document that would remain consistent irrespective of future political changes of the country. The Chamber underline consistency of policy to be the backbone of export growth and development, he said.

The Strategy will improve the business environment for all Sri Lankan enterprises. While the NES provides the conditions to enable diversification by strengthening emerging sectors, all export industries of Sri Lanka will benefit from the increased performance of key Trade Support Functions.

These include logistics, national quality infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, and trade information and promotion.

The approving of the NES highlights the strong commitment of the Government to increase Sri Lanka’s export potential to project Sri Lanka as the next regional trade hub. With the launch of the Strategy, Sri Lanka now has the opportunity to catch up with fast-growing Asian exporting countries. The NES aims to empower the emergence of new champions while supporting growth of traditional export industries. Major systemic issues hindering the rapid expansion of Sri Lanka’s exports will be corrected to favour growth of higher-technology and knowledge-intensive exports, which are less vulnerable to cost shifts.

The Export Strategy is a flagship development project spearheaded by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MODSIT) and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) together with public private partnership.

It is well aligned with, complements and operationalises other national initiatives such as enterprise Sri Lanka and Vision 2025. Vision 2025 seeks to create a Blue-Green economy, harnessing the resources of the ocean surrounding us and the green environmental resources around us.

The National Export Strategy is reinvigorating the trading environment and maximising its potential to usher in a period of sustained growth, aimed at increasing livelihoods for millions of Sri Lankans.

The NES is navigating Sri Lanka to its rightful place in the Indian Ocean, as a sophisticated, innovative and dynamic trade hub serving Asia and beyond.