Export Development Council on the cards | Daily News


Export Development Council on the cards

Minister of Trade  Dr Bandula Gunawardana
Minister of Trade Dr Bandula Gunawardana

Steps will be taken to establish an Export Development Council in the near future, Minister of Trade Dr. Bandula Gunawardana told a special conference on Sri Lanka’s Export Development outlook organized by the Export Development Board (EDB) on Saturday.

He said that the Export Development Council is a key component proposed in the Sri Lankan Export Development Act No 40 in 1979. Up to the present it was seen that the particular clause has not been attended to. “We can see that from the start the EDB has not worked according to the law,” he said.

Thus the problem was addressed to the President during a Cabinet meeting and it was decided to establish an Export Development Council headed by the President consisting of Ministers in charge of the subjects of Trade, Shipping, Industries, Agriculture, Plantation Industries, Textile Industries, Fisheries, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Planning, and Rural Industries.

The Export Development Council of Ministers will be subjected to any general or special directions given by the Cabinet of Ministers and be responsible for the formulation and implementation of national export development policies and programs.

“This makes it possible to attend to the difficulties and problems faced by the exporters of the country more efficiently with the respective ministries,” he said.

He also said that with the recent discussions held with the European Council and the Ministry of Trade, the exporters could use the brand ‘Sri Lanka when exporting cinnamon in the future and similar steps will be taken to gain the Sri Lanka brand to unique export products of the country.

To increase the exports of the county it is important to diversify the products. New exporting products should be introduced deviating from the traditional exports of the country. Innovation thinking is vital to introduce new exporting products from the raw materials already available in the country. Another aspect is to diversify the worldwide markets. Apart from exporting to the European and the Western markets special consideration should be given to promote the Sri Lankan products in the African and the Asian markets.

With the advancement in technology, exports should be modernized to and steps should be taken to export services such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The Minister also said that research proposals for new exporting products are accepted and steps will be introduced to develop them for mass production. With the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic the main sources of income for the country which are the Tourism industry and the remittance based income is predicted to provide negative results for the time being and it is required for the export industry to participate fully to fill the gap in the national economy.

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