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
"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