Five year growth strategies for Gems and Jewellery, Packaging, Plastics and Wood-based Industries
Gems and Jewellery projects annual export of US$ 370 million and net value addition of over US$ 250 million
Packaging Industry sets goal of 80% share of domestic market
Plastics Industry aims to draw even with Asian Leaders
Wood Based Industries projects exports to increase ten fold
The Gems and Jewellery, Packaging, Plastic and Wood-Based industries has presented five-year plans to increase productivity and "competitiveness" at the latest in a series of workshops with the theme, Strategies for growth, How will the industry compete? A forum for Change.
The plans developed are a part of a dialogue between the Ministry of Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion and the private sector.
Task forces representing 16 key industries either have completed or will complete strategies, linking ideas with products and services aimed at sustaining long-term growth on a global basis. Although each specific to respective industries, the strategic share a common philosophy based on the simple idea of competitiveness, adding value at each stop of production or service delivery process.
"The government and industry share a common objective that which ultimately depends upon our ability to promote new thinking wherein everyone contributes new ideas leading to better products, reduced costs, which benefits all of us," Minister G. L. Peiris said in his keynote address.
He said that it is very difficult to effect change when people as we all tend to do think in a certain way.
"Economic growth begins when all of us ask the same question namely, how to do something better? These strategies begin with that premise, and recognize that government has its job to do to encourage industry and to help solve problems not create more."
Peiris told industry participants that global competition imposes a corresponding need for Sri Lanka to look critical at its position in each of its key industries.
"Like every other country, we can only survive by prospering at what we can do best, and thats based on what we collectively produce and well to world markets based on some optimum combination of quality and cost.
"That begins with an analysis, industry by industry, company by company of our strengths, identifying and addressing weaknesses, looking for opportunities and defending ourselves against the threats. For us to succeed, that process must become like a secular religion," he said.
For its part Peiris said that the government must become an ally o business and business cannot rely government to protect weaknesses. At the same time, Sri Lanka cannot become a dumping ground for products from abroad sold here at less than their cost of production. Understandably, from time-to-time, this creates a natural tension which we must address continuously as we identify and solve problems. The problems will never disappear, but they can be solved. Thats why we are here today, to continue this process,he observed.
"These may be new concepts to some, certainly not to all, but with these strategies, we have better understanding on how we can cooperate - and thats not collusion - to foster growth necessary to protect jobs we have and to create more," he added.
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