Is the European market accessible to Sri Lankan exporters?
The strategy of the Government is to ensure that by 2020 Sri Lanka's
industrial sector will be highly value added, knowledge based,
internationally competitive, diversified and employing a highly paid
skilled workforce. The Government aims at continuous training and
retaining of workers in relevant disciplines.
The exports sector will be supported through a more conducive tax
regime. Steps are taken to facilitate more market access via
multilateral and bilateral trading agreements.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the growth engine of the Sri
Lankan economy with the country's current conducive state for business,
and with the initiations for exports development.
SMEs can play a pivotal role in Sri Lanka's exports sector for the
growth of the nation on a very large scale. SMEs currently account for
80-90 percent of the total number of enterprises in Sri Lanka. The
European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member
states; The EU has developed a single market through standardisation of
laws which applies in all member states including the abolition of
passport controls within the union.
Consequently, it ensures the free movement of people, goods, services
and capital and maintains common policies on agriculture, fisheries and
With a population of over 500 million highly educated people with
high spending capacity, it has attracted many exporters from various
parts of the world.
However, many Sri Lankan exporters do not comprehensively understand
how to find markets, attract buyers, market policies, environmental
standards and other statutory requirements of the EU.
This complex market was always a challenge to our exporters and this
reason has seen exporters limiting their exports to a market with
immense opportunities, which could be utilised if properly understood
The Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries
(CBI) of the Netherlands contributes to sustainable economic development
in developing countries through the expansion of exports from these
CBI, the expert in export development and export promotion from
developing countries has a solid network of international stakeholders.
Their contribution consists of strengthening of competitive capacity of
SME exporters focusing primarily on European markets.
The core focus areas are counselling, advice and knowledge
management. With this mindset, CBI has joined forces with FCCISL and its
partner chambers to form a strategic alliance to offer training for
exporters in Sri Lanka which is supported and assisted by the Export
Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka.