NCE holds webinar on coconut based exports to the USA | Sunday Observer

NCE holds webinar on coconut based exports to the USA

19 September, 2021

The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka launched a series of webinars on the theme ‘Grow Beyond Traditional Markets’ in collaboration with Sri Lankan Foreign Missions overseas. The main objective of this initiative is to assist exporters to reach new markets and identify emerging demand for various products and services, under new normal by global consumers.  The Chamber conducted two webinars recently, in coordination with the Sri Lanka embassy in the USA and India Business Group, a chamber of commerce based in Mumbai. 

The webinar conducted with the support of the Sri Lanka Embassy was mainly focused on improving market access for Sri Lankan coconut and coconut based products.

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha outlined the need to support Sri Lankan SME exporters in reaching out to global consumers. The Embassy has made a strategic move to develop a ‘Warehouse Concept’ supported by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, the first such warehouse being dedicated to the apparel sector.  The expected outcome of this strategic approach is manyfold including meeting customer demand instantly, bridging the time gap between the production and consumption of products, and also obtaining prize utilisation through the creation of time utility.

The delays in the supply chain due to the prevailing global catastrophe can also be mitigated to a larger extent through this facility. According to the Ambassador, they have taken steps to set up two such facilities in the East and West Coasts of the United States where exporters can send in their goods in advance, for storage.  In this regard, EDB playing a significant supportive role will provide financial aid for the first six months, he said. 

He said the role being played by the Embassy, setting a trend in motion, and matchmaking between the seller and the buyer, and warehouse being the hard end of the deal. He also stressed the important role played by the Sri Lankan community and academics in the US who can make connections and provide technical know-how to support Sri Lankan exporters. The Embassy is making every effort to connect such people with exporters to facilitate the process. In this aspect, the Embassy has revived the US-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce which had been in defunct mode. 

He said the untapped potential for coconut-based products in the US and the need to compete effectively with existing suppliers from countries such as India. He requested exporters to establish contact with the US investors for direct investment in the Sri Lankan coconut sector.

The Ambassador also highlighted the importance of women’s employment in this sector and said that their contribution was essential for the economic development of the country.

Minister Commercial of the Embassy, Sumedha Ponnamperuma made a presentation covering the main areas and requirements of coconut-based products to the USA.

The NCE also joined a B2B webinar conducted by the India Business Group, to improve bilateral trade between the two countries. India Business Group (IBG) a Chamber of Commerce based in Mumbai serving the ecosystem of business sectors for the past eight years.

IBG is a pioneer chamber in India, representing over 75,000 members. They have signed MoUs with over 30 chambers around the globe and in neighbouring States. During the webinar, members of both Chambers introduced themselves and their businesses and exchanged business referrals and lead generation.