By Zahara Zuhair
The third edition of the Sri Lanka PLAST 2016 was launched yesterday at the BMICH showcasing a wide range of processing machines, ancillary gadgets and new generation material for manufacturing and packaging relevant to rubber and plastic industries.
Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen launches the third edition of Lanka Plast & Rubexpo exhibition joined by Deputy High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Arindam Bagchi (far right), B Swaminathan (second from right), President of Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka M.T. Pringiers (far left), and Director of India’s National Small Industries Corporation P Udayakumar (second from left) at the BMICH
The three-day event includes 175 stalls with representatives from ten countries and comprises of four exhibitions which are ‘Sri Lanka Plast’ with focus on plastics, ‘Rubexpo’ focusing on rubber,
‘Compack’ focusing on fundamentals of packaging and ‘Enmach’ carting to the manufacturing needs.
Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that the rubber and plastics industries have to acquire new and emerging technologies in order to increase the value addition, and the urgent need for capacity building in manufacturing infrastructure and knowledge management has been identified as vital factors in the path to development.
“It is in this backdrop that industrial exhibitions with international participation are of great importance to Sri Lanka,” he said.
Enterprising Fairs India (Pvt.) Ltd CEO B. Swaminathan said that this exhibition was a gateway to develop business relationships, promoting interactions which were vital in driving the business and developing business in Sri Lanka and across the globe in the rubber and plastic industries.
“So we strongly believe these exhibitors will bring the amount of momentum activities and industrialisation in to this part of this world,” he said at the inauguration ceremony of the exhibition.
He also said that exhibitions were the drivers of any industry and played a catalytic role in the growth of the sector as they showcased current development both in machines and materials related to the sector.
“They also facilitate the adoption of new and appropriate technologies at affordable cost. They accelerate the growth of the sector and thereby create new entrepreneurs and new employment opportunities,” he added. PRISL President K.W.M.T. Pringiers said that this exhibition was a great opportunity to extend network and make new connections.
The organising in Sri Lanka is spearheaded by Enterprising Fairs India (Pvt.) Ltd. with The Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka (PRISL) as co organiser, supported by the Export Development Board (EDB) from Sri Lanka and The Plastic Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL) of India.
Work starts on Rubber Masterplan
Work on the much awaited Sri Lanka Rubber Industry Masterplan has commenced in earnest with Industry and Commerce Ministry implementing a major portion of projects outlined in it.
“We are facing difficult times in rubber sector. Issues such as global market situation, supply side constraints, lack of technology to modernize the sector, and artificial rubber imports need to be resolved for the development of this sector” stressed Minister Bathiudeen.
“Rubber is one of our main exports. It is also used heavily in local manufacturing. Annually we consume around $195 million of rubber, for local manufacturing. Our Ministry database has 485 rubber product manufacturers of large medium and small scales but we believe that there are many un-registered rubber manufacturers as well. The issues in rubber sector affect our rubber product manufacturing as well.
“Realising the need to quickly address them, our Ministry launched several initiatives” said Minister Bathiudeen and added: “In fact my Ministry will be a proud implementing partner of 12 projects out of the total 25 projects in Government’s Rubber Master Plan. We start with information. Lack of information on Lankan rubber industry is a key issue in our development efforts.
Therefore we are currently implementing a country-wide rubber manufacturing sector survey in this regard and expect to complete by the end of this year. Another project is addressing the shortage of rubber manufacturing skills. There is a growing problem of lack of skilled technology knowledge in our industry. Realising the need to address this issue my Ministry, with Sri Lanka Plastic and Rubber Research Institute contacted an Indian university well known for plastic and rubber technologies. We contacted the Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kerala India known in South Asia for its plastic and rubber research.”