Message to be disseminated through products :
‘Sri Lanka Rising’ - to attract export, expand market
The country will be projected under a new theme “Sri Lanka Rising” to
the international market in attracting exports and expanding our
markets, President, National Chamber of Exporters Sri Lanka (NCESL)
Rohan Fernando said. The Chamber is working towards disseminating this
simple message through our products, he said.
He called for an urgent national policy on development, energy and
water emphasizing the need to conserve water and energy and to make
maximum use. “We have the potential and we work with Government
institutions to create a positive frame of mind. This is what we try to
inculcate in our members as a business community”, he said.
Under the current economic environment we stood up to a worldwide
recession and fought a war which was the worst in the world.
We overcame these challenges successfully. The country was not badly
affected by recession due to the stringent financial regulations.
Firstly, as a Sri Lankan and as business community we congratulate the
correct political leadership, armed forces and others involved in the
successful role against the war, he said.
There is a saying that “when one door closes at least another door
opens” and we need to concentrate on the avenues available for
The upbeat about the future and achieving the goals is not a
difficult task, Fernando said. We need to strive to look at other
Sri Lanka’s economy is resilient to the point that there is an
abundance of natural strengths and resources. These natural strengths
including military expertise could be made use of in international wars.
The natural resources such as marine, water, wind and solar are not
exploited fully. Steps are needed to extend our maritime economic zone
to broaden our boundaries. The sea contains natural resources including
fish, minerals, carbon resources and power generation capacity by way of
It’s our responsibility to harness all these resources. We are an
island nation. The Government needs to have a timeframe to stop
importing fish, he said.
“This is a time that we can set up our basic infrastructure and
ground work. After the recession there will be a boom point. This could
propel so many other silent dormant activities. We should be prepared to
take full use of the world economic expansion”, he said.
Sri Lanka has a vast potential in converting many areas of food
production in to consumer ready items.
Tea recorded a one billion dollar turnover two years ago. It has the
potential to be a five billion industry and 3.5 billion kilograms of tea
are consumed annually. Tea is no more a poor man’s beverage. It is a
health related product and tea could also produce a range of by-products
which are health supportive and aimed at life support.
We can expand our tea export industry to make Sri Lanka a tea export
nation. This would facilitate national economic growth, Fernando said.
Regarding milk production, it is far from satisfactory. We are
confident that with a proper strategy we could improve liquid milk
production. Our garment industry should aim at high end products and
The North and East development is vital in our economy. These
provinces need to produce food items such as fish, onions, potatoes and
chillies not only for local consumption, but should be also export
There is a greater demand for foods and also for natural food and we
need to capitalize on this situation, Fernando said. We should encourage
local production and this in turn will benefit our farmers. It will also
help to save billions of rupees of valuable foreign exchange on food
imports, he said.