Local motor industry targets USD 1.5 bn export revenue | Daily News

Local motor industry targets USD 1.5 bn export revenue

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa launches the Standard Operating Procedures on Vehicle Manufacturing, Vehicle Assembling and Manufacture of Vehicle Accessories in Sri Lanka with Minister of Industries, Wimal Weerawansa and other Ministers at the event. Picture by Dushmantha Mayadunna
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa launches the Standard Operating Procedures on Vehicle Manufacturing, Vehicle Assembling and Manufacture of Vehicle Accessories in Sri Lanka with Minister of Industries, Wimal Weerawansa and other Ministers at the event. Pi

The government temporarily halted the import of vehicles not to create any hardships to the public but to create a new business vertical from Sri Lanka in the automobile sector, said Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at the launch of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for automobile Manufacturing and Assembly in Colombo on Monday.

He said that when the decision was taken there was a buffer stock of imported vehicles in Sri Lanka sufficient for two years. He said that due to the import ban of vehicles today several local investors have moved in the assembly of vehicles and also component manufacturers have reinvested to increase production.

“With the launch of SOP we anticipate a new dimension in the local motor industry and we anticipate an export revenue in the excess of over USD 1.5 billion in the next two years and create over 20, 000 new high paying employment opportunities.”

The Prime Minister said that though there were talks of a SOP in the past 10 years such a scheme was never initiated before and thanked the Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa for speeding up the SOP and making it a reality. He also assured that policy decisions and concessions offered by SPO are to stay and applied to local and foreign entrepreneurs to aggressively move and invest in this sector. The long-term objective of this SOP is also to save the annual Rs. 1,820 billion in foreign exchange for the importation of vehicles.

Minister of Industries, Wimal Weerawansa said that the SPO defines the government policy framework formulated to give confidence for investors to create a new revolution in the motor industry. The automotive, vehicle assembly and auto parts manufacturing industries are not isolated. “They are associated with the rubber manufacturing industry, metal and non-metal manufacturing industry and the electronics manufacturing industry. For all these industries to develop, a country’s vehicle manufacturing, vehicle assembly and auto parts manufacturing industries must be developed first and this is the objective of launching this SOP.”

As and when this industry gets stronger in Sri Lanka it will also help to reverse the brain drain allowing young students graduating from universities with degrees in engineering and technology to be employed in these industries at high paying positions.”

A skilled workforce too will be created targeting this segment when this industry expands rapidly.

“The launch of the SOP has set up a solid government policy framework to give confidence for investment for the automotive industry with this new turnaround we hope that companies already in the automotive industry as well as new companies will add their investments to this sector.”