NCE leads delegation of exporters to Northern and Eastern Provinces | Daily News


NCE leads delegation of exporters to Northern and Eastern Provinces

Some highlights of the event.
Some highlights of the event.

The National Chamber of Exporters(NCE) led a business delegation to the Northern and Eastern Provinces (Vauniya, Kilinochchi, Jaffna and Trincomalee) from June 21-23. The Chamber carried out this visit in collaboration with the Regional Chambers in the relevant districts, the ‘Via Village Entrepreneurs Centre’ in Vauniya and the Local Empowerment through Economic Development (LEED) Project of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The main objectives of the event were to link NCE member exporters with growers and producers in the North (Vavuniya and Kilinochchi Districts) and to promote the NCE Annual Export Awards among the Regional Chambers (Jaffna and Trincomalee). The NCE also wished to encourage regional SMEs to showcase their achievements among prospective buyers.

The President, Secretary General and Assistance Secretary together with few NCE Staff were part of this delegation.

The delegation consisted of 11 exporters representing eight export companies. Their export requirements comprised organic products, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, palmyrah products and processed foods.

Srimathi Narandeniya, Deputy Director of the Agriculture Division, Sri Lankan Export Development Board (EDB) also joined the delegation. She made a presentation on export procedures to fruit and vegetable producers in the Kilinochchi area.

Her presentation was translated to Tamil by the Chamber to gap the language barrier. It was highly appreciated by the participants, as they were able to clarify issues related to export procedures.

The ‘Via Village Entrepreneurs Centre’ in Vauniya is a US certified non-profit organization funded by Canadian citizens consisting of farmers and producers in the Vavuniya district. The objective of this organization is to ensure the local empowerment of farmers in the Santhipuram area.

S. Thevathas, Business Consultant of the Centre, made a presentation introducing the Via Village Entrepreneurs Centre, the nature of its operations, and the support expected from the exporters. The interactions among participants were beneficial to clarify issues brought up by exporters and producers.

The NCE together with the ILO LEED Project team also conducted an awareness programme for producers in the North which was held at the Friends Inn Hotel, Kilinochchi, at which more than 40 producers were present.

Nihal Devagiri, Head of the ILO LEED Project, Vasu and Viknesh represented the ILO LEEDs project team. The programme which was conducted in both English and Tamil, also comprised short field visits arranged by the ILO team for the delegates.

Thereafter the exporters and producers discussed the benefits as well as the improvements which are needed by both parties to build successful business linkages. These discussions were led by the ILO officials.

Under a separate component of the programme, the NCE officials visited the Jaffna and Trincomalee District Chambers of Commerce and Industries, for the purpose of promoting participation of their member enterprises as applicants at the NCE Annual Exports Awards, especially the SMEs, to enable them to showcase their successes to attract prospective buyers.

It is noteworthy that the Chamber proposes to present special awards this year to regional enterprises. At the discussions conducted with the Yalpanam Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Jaffna, organized by the Chairman of the Chamber Jerusan, four exporters and potential exporters companies participated.

In addition to explaining the structure and application procedure for regional entities, knowledge of export procedures was also provided.

At the meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Trincomalee organized by the Chairman of the Chamber Kuladeepan, 11 export as well as potential export companies participated.

They too were provided the same knowledge as in the case of the Yalpanam Chamber. The programme was concluded with field visits by the delegates to papaya and passion fruit cultivations in the Kilinochchi area, to the packing house established by CR Exports in Kilinochchi which is a well-established exporter of fruits and vegetables, and finally a visit to a herbal tea producer and exporter in the same area with a view to establish business partnerships, if the samples provided were acceptable by the prospective buyers.

The Chamber appreciates the contribution made by the EDB by joining the delegation, since the work of the Chamber complements the services provided by the EDB to develop and promote exports to achieve national objectives. This relates not only to the efforts of the EDB to link producers to established exporters, but will also enable the development of new exporters, under the programme to increase the number of registered exporters by at least 2000, to enhance overall exports from Sri Lanka.

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