Stage set for NCE’s 26th annual awards | Sunday Observer

Stage set for NCE’s 26th annual awards

The presentation of sponsorships  Pix: Chaminda Niroshana
The presentation of sponsorships Pix: Chaminda Niroshana

The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) which exclusively serves Sri Lankan exporters launched the 26th annual export awards, which will be held on September 28, at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo last week.

The President of the NCE, Ramal Jasinghe said they have got the very best to adjudicate the process headed by Sunil Wijesinha, the well-known professional who is the Chairman of the panel of judges. They have also introduced a strong team of technicians to handle the technical side of the applications.

Jasinghe said, today the country faced the challenge of the depreciating rupee and the Iranian situation. He said the country exports tea to the value of US$ 318 million and on the other hand makes exports to the value of US$ 2.8 billion to the US. Jasinghe said every dollar was important to the economy at this juncture and it was under such an environment that they were sponsoring the event.

Secretary General of the NCE, Shiham Marikar said that for the past 25 years they have been conducting the ceremony without a break and this year they have introduced some special awards.

One sector is related to giving special awards to companies working with the differently able community.

“Of the applications received we want to identify a few companies working with the differently able and give them a special award. The idea is to encourage the exporters to work with this community. We have a program that commenced a couple of years ago with the ILO to connect our exporters with the producers of the Northern area,” he said.

He said they have trained about 3,000 farmers there to grow agriculture products, mainly Red Lady papaya. There were about 12 exporters who have signed contracts with them and were buying products on a monthly basis.

The whole program is to uplift the livelihood of the community of the northern region, he said.

Marikar said they have received more than 125 applications this year and 85 awards will be given to the top exporters.

The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited is the print media sponsor of the event.