Prima eyes more exports, expects good growth for flour-based products | Sunday Observer

Prima eyes more exports, expects good growth for flour-based products

Prima Ceylon Limited, part of Singapore’s Prima Group, expects good growth in the market for its flour-based products given rising disposable incomes in the country and higher levels of education, Prima Limited Chairman and CEO Primus Cheng said. Current milling capacity at its factory in Trincomalee is 3,600 metric tonnes of wheat grain per day.

Prima Ceylon focuses on all segments of products such as bread, cake, biscuits, noodles and Sri Lankan traditional staple foods such as roti and string hoppers, Primus Cheng said in an interview with the Business Observer. Asked how he foresees the industry in five years, he said, “We expect the flour-based market to be more sophisticated and diverse as consumers become more educated and have more disposable income.”

Sri Lankans are benefiting from enhanced lifestyles as the economy grows.

“We will continue to strengthen and upgrade our facilities and look for more export business,” Cheng said. The company does its own research and development in a unit known as ‘PrimaRND’ with its own lab facilities to come up with products to suit the local market.

“The Prima Group’s quality products are the result of painstaking research and development by Prima RND’s dedicated professionals,” he said adding, “PrimaRND creates commercially viable products from mere ideas and offers product innovation, quality assurance and quality engineering services, according to the company’s needs.

“Our highly experienced team includes food technologists, chemists, quality engineering technicians, research bakers and chefs.

And with extensive laboratory facilities, PrimaRND provides the food science resources you need to compete in today’s knowledge-driven economy.”

Cheng said that establishing one of the largest integrated flour milling complexes in China Bay, Trincomalee was a strong display of trust on the part of Prima Group and Singapore.

“When Prima signed the agreement to set up a flour milling facility in Sri Lanka in 1977, the country had yet to enact foreign investment laws and there was no Investment Protection Treaty between Sri Lanka and Singapore. When we opened the Flour Milling Complex in 1980, we knew the important role it would play in the country’s future.”

Prima recently made a donation to Singapore Management University to endow scholarships for Sri Lankan students. This, Cheng said, was “in line with our belief that education is the foremost fundamental enabler. It is only with education and training that people can become self-reliant and use their skills and knowledge for the good of mankind. Therefore, education is the key to prepare Sri Lanka’s future generations for socio-economic success.”