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Sri Lanka's factory output tops $2.6 b

Sri Lanka's factory output, an important industrial growth driver, continues to rise.

"National Factory output that recorded $ 2.4 billion in 2011, increased to $ 2.6 billion, in 2012. Since there is a strong contribution by local industries to exports, there is also growth in overall exports," said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen at the Wayamba Wijayabhimani Viyaparika Vishishtatha Awards ceremony at the auditorium of the North Western Province (NWP) Provincial Council, Kurunegala recently.

Minister of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, North Western Province Governor Tissa Balalla, Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, Chairman, Industrial Services Bureau, Jayantha Wijeratne and CEO, Industrial Services Bureau, Neelakanth Wanninayaka were also present.

The Entrepreneur and Industrial Awards awards which recognise, reward and motivate entrepreneurs and industrialists who have contributed to the economic development of the North Western Province, has been led by the Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) of the NWP with the support of the NWP Provincial Council.

According to the organisers, this provincial awards scheme covers micro, small, medium, large and extra-large enterprises, in many sectors including the industry and manufacturing sectors.

In Sri Lanka's industrial sector, factory output grew by 6.2% in the first half of 2013. Within it, food, beverages and tobacco products grew by 6.2% and non-metallic mineral products grew by 4.9%, while the textile, wearing apparel and leather products grew by 6.5%.

Niranga Enterprises won the Best award in the micro sector, while Manufacturing Best Award was won by TNG Packaging Ltd, followed by Tropical Health Food (medium scale), Selyn Exporters (large scale) and Dankotuwa Porcelain Ltd (extra large scale).

Many other awards and certificates for entrepreneurship were also presented.

"I commend the organisers of this event for pioneering, provincial level initiatives that help us to improve national GDP growth. Manufacturing industries is the essential engine of development of any economy," said Minister Bathiudeen.

"The industrial sector now contributes to 28% of our GDP. National factory output that recorded $ 2.4 billion in 2011, increased to $ 2.6 billion, in 2012. Due to the strong contribution by industries to exports, there is growth in overall exports," he said.

"In 2013, industrial exports, performed strongly, driven by the large apparel export revenue, which showed record earnings of $ 4.3 billion.

This province is next to the most industrialised, province of Sri Lanka, the Western Province, which has a provincial GDP growth rate of 13%," the Minister said.

"This province has a share of 10% of national GDP, which shows there is strong potential for growth in the future. Sectors such as business, entrepreneurship and manufacturing, can help this province to grow further," he said.

The National Enterprise Development Agency of Sri Lanka (NEDA) has extended assistance valued at more than Rs 3.5 million to the province.

In 2012 and 2013, NEDA supported entrepreneurs in the province, with new programs, such as women entrepreneur development, enhancement of vocational training facilities, business development fairs and light engineering cluster development program.

The value of support for the two years exceeded $ 27,000.

"This year NEDA will launch three initiatives in this province. They are a pottery cluster development program, technical training and financial assistance for light engineering, and coir sector development program," Minister Bathiudeen said.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said, "Most entrepreneurs are saddled with bureaucratic problems. Even a small scale entrepreneur has to go to more than 20 government agencies before they finally launch their business. By then they are worn out."

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