Sri Lanka sets $ 20 bn export target for 2020 – Minister Bathiudeen


Sri Lanka should endeavour to harness positive vibes from cricket shows to develop its export industry and reach the projected 20 billion US dollar export revenue by 2020, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishard Bathiudeen says.

"Let us make Sri Lanka’s export Industry a 20 billion dollars by 2020. Let us now build on positive vibes from Cricket shows that is surrounding Brand Sri Lanka with its smiling and united people. Along with our high quality product range we as a nation can be the ‘Wonder of Asia’" said Minister Bathiudeen, speaking at the inauguration of Expo Bazaar 2011 in Colombo on Friday (8). He said the Export Development Board’s export strategic plan targeted US$ 15 Billion exports from Sri Lanka by 2015. In 2010 Sri Lanka export revenues had increased to US $ 8.3 billion. An overall export increase of 17.26% in 2010 in comparison to 2009 had also been recorded, he added.

Minister Bathiudeen said: "One question that must be going through your mind is why we have to feature export products in a Sri Lankan market when the targeted recipients are overseas. Let me explain. In the new post war economy we can see that Sri Lanka is surging with the last quarter GDP recoding a commanding 8.6% growth. The private sector records the same sentiment with strong top line and bottom line performance. As the Minister of Industry and Commerce I am really proud of this performance under the guidance of Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Now the challenge is how we make the world understand these same vibes about Sri Lanka which globally is called Nation Branding.

In Nation Branding the best way of communicating this is by the people of this country and today’s event is significant given that for the 1st time the people of Sri Lanka will see the top export products that we market to the world and earned eight billion dollars in 2010. Once the people use these high quality products and become proud of our nation we will see a new wave of communication globally that will start building a new image of our country and that’s why this Export Bazaar is unique for Sri Lanka. Let me congratulate EDB for organizing this event and most of all the exporters taking part so that we can all contribute to Nation Branding of new Sri Lanka.

For the last six weeks we witnessed the excitement of Cricket and to me as the Minister of Industry and Commerce the importance was that we show-cased to the world that Sri Lanka was celebrating Peace and we welcomed the world to Sri Lanka. Over two billion people around the world saw how Sri Lanka was united to brand Sri Lanka. To me this was the significance of this event and now we have announced to the world that Sri Lanka is open to business."

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