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Export revenue increase anticipated

Export revenue will increase with lifting of the ban on fish exports and the re-instatement of the GSP Plus trade concession next year said State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe.

He made these comments addressing a ceremony to launch the 16th edition of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) to be held from October 12-13 in Colombo.

The Minister said, the 15,000 acre industrial zone in Hambantota set up in collaboration with China and a one stop shop for foreign direct investors to set up ventures in the country will boost exports and bring in the much needed foreign reserves to the country.

'The government has embarked on a mega drive to boost exports and make the country a leading export nation in the region. The next budget will focus on many programs to support exporters and enhance revenue to the country", Senasinghe said.

However, he noted that when the country graduates to the next level of income earning status it will not be eligible for trade concessions such as GSP Plus.

'Many developed and fast developing countries in the region have reached excellence due to their focus on trade. Our strategic location with three ports and airports will help to develop trade and boost economic growth" the Minister said.

He said, Vietnam which is currently earning around US$ 140 billion through exports, and Bangladesh, earning around US$ 37 billion are models for Sri Lanka which earns approximately, US$ 11 billion through exports.

"Our aim should be similar to Ruwanda which hosted the WEDF and then the World Economic Summit (WES)" Senasinghe said.

The forum is hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade and the Export Development Board.

The forum, a highlight of the global export industry calendar, is expected attract 400 international delegates comprising renowned international speakers and trade experts, and around 300 business leaders and entrepreneurs.

WEDF 2016 with the theme 'Trade for Success; Connect, Compete, Change' is a forum for talking business; for high level policy discussion on solving issues affecting private sector competitiveness and trade integration. This year's event will stage four key plenary sessions addressed by world renowned speakers, two in-focus sessions providing insights into practical business cases and will be presented by successful business entrepreneurs in the region.

The two-day forum will focus on current issues shaping export competitiveness in the region and across the globe, the new trade and development landscape and strategic trade success.

The forum will be graced by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat Patricia Scotland, Pakistan Minister of Commerce Khurran Dastgir Khan, while Deputy State Secretary for Foreign Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hungary Dr. Petra Pana will speak on challenges in international trade and solutions to overcome them.

WEDF is a platform to expedite business opportunities and partnerships, with business to business meetings. A mini exhibition to showcase the best Sri Lankan export products will be held parallel to the exhibition

 

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