Written by Staff Writer
19 Sep, 2019 | 10:18 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – The 23rd edition of the Presidential Export Awards was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena this evening (September 19). The event was held at the BMICH in efforts to recognize and commend exemplary exporters.
Deputy Leader of the United National Party Minister Sajith Premadasa and Minister Malik Samarawickrema also attended the event.
Minister Sajith Premadasa who addressed the gathering at the event highlighted that Sri Lanka’s manufacturing exports are in the same place today as it was in the early 1980’s adding that it takes him back to the central structural challenge. He added that the developed manufacturing export in Sri Lanka since independence is apparel. However, he continued that since the early 1980’s Sri Lanka has not diversified on exports or on export destinations. He further added that as the national export strategy propounds Sri Lanka continues to export old products to old markets. “The challenge today is for us to export new products to new markets. We also have to make the border more efficient”, he suggested. He highlighted that the rapid, complete digitization and interconnection of customs and other border agencies must create a single-window noting that it would automatically reduce corruption and waste. “We need to bring our administrative procedures to the level of Singapore and Dubai if we are to compete and become the trading and manufacturing hub”, he continued.
Minister Malik Samarawickrema stated that Sri Lanka will, in fact, realize its potential and bring economic prosperity to the people solely through export-driven growth. “Our goal for the next three years is to increase exports to 28 billion by 2022”, he added. He praised the award winners and the exporters who had not earned awards referring to them as “integral to achieving that goal”. He highlighted that the leadership in the export arena shines as a beacon of encouragement to other enterprises seeking to conquer global markets.
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