UNIDO Export Compliance Program to improve SME competition | Daily News


UNIDO Export Compliance Program to improve SME competition

Airman, IDB, P.L.U. Rathnamalala Director General, IDB and Dr. Jairo Andres - Technical Specialist, UNIDO
Airman, IDB, P.L.U. Rathnamalala Director General, IDB and Dr. Jairo Andres - Technical Specialist, UNIDO

To compete in the global export market, developing countries have to strengthen the requirements to apply with regard to product quality, safety, health and environmental impacts.The EU - Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance project aims to increase the trade competitiveness of Sri Lankan Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) in regional and European Union (EU) markets.

The 4-year EU funded project, worth EUR 8 million, contributes to Sri Lanka’s inclusive trade-led growth and regional integration. It is implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). This project supports SME export competitiveness and value addition in sectors with high potential for economic growth and development. Further, this project addresses compliance standards and efficiencies in cross border procedures, which are key constraints to market access, especially for SMEs. Specific attention is given to enhancing value chains in the spice, food and Information Technology/Business Process Outsourcing (IT/BPO) sectors.

One of the project expected results is to improve the SME competitiveness in export oriented sectors. Therefore, this Export Compliance Program (XCP) is the initiative of UNIDO, in the framework of the EU-Trade Related Assistance project, to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs, along the Processed Foods & Beverages and Spices & Concentrates (PFBSC) Value Chains (VC) and improve their access to the EU and regional markets. The program supports the process to implement and to obtain certifications such as GLOBAL G.A.P. (Good Agricultural Practices), SL – G.A.P., GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), ISO 22000 (food safety management system), Organic (Restricted use of chemicals, substances and conditions potentially harmful for human health or the environment).

One of the intuitional partners of this program is the Industrial Development Board (IDB). After calling for applications through the district offices of the IDB, a meeting was conducted on May 24, 2019, at the Lakkam Auditorium of the IDB. Around 84 participants took part in the meeting, including forty eight SMEs, IDB officials and UNIDO officials.

The audience was welcomed by the Director General of the IDB P.L.U. Rathnamalala and an introductory address was given by Navin Adikarama, Chairman of the IDB. A briefing of EU Sri Lanka Trade Assistance Project and Export Compliance Program to SMEs was conveyed by Dr. Jairo Andres, who is the Technical Specialist-UNIDO.

Overall, this became an opportunity for the industrialists to define their exact expectations from XCP and challenges to the officials of the UNIDO.

This program could be considered as an effective event and a great start to lift up local SMEs to achieve their export market, eventually with the attainment of economic growth of the country.


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