One of the lowest provincial contributors to the national GDP, Sri Lanka’s Northern Province is to be linked to the export supply chain –and not by the Province’ manufacturing output but more so by leveraging an abundant resource, the robust youth within the Province.
“I am positive that this initiative can commence the linking process of Northern Province to our export markets. Human resources are widely available in the Northern Province,” said Industry Commerce Ministert Rishad Bathiudeen in Vavuniya yesterday.
Minister Bathiudeen, joined by the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, EDB Chairperson Indira Malwatte, and Northern Parliament MPs, was addressing the region’s business and production representatives at the seventh awareness session of Export Development Board’s ‘2000 New Exporters Programme’.
This project came into being on a statement made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament in October 2016. A national programme was thereafter launched to establish 2000 exporters and this programme is now scheduled to conclude by 2020. Sri Lanka Export Development Board has been implementing the 2000 New Exporters Programme and so far six awareness sessions have been concluded across the country by the EDB.
“Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 2016 economic vision stresses value chain development, enlisting youth for manufacturing, and enlisting rural producers towards exports. Such targets cannot be achieved only by working in the Western Province since this is a national effort,” stressed Bathiudeen.
“It is commendable to see today’s initiative taking place in Vavuniya, which is also a main production centre in the Northern Province. Prime Minister’s vision focuses on processed food, ICT/BPO, electronics, wellness tourism, boats, and value added spices and some of these are feasible industries for North where human resources are widely available. I am positive that this initiative can commence the linking process of Northern Province to our export markets. Most importantly this initiative helps Northern SMEs to upgrade their production to export standards. Initiatives like this can help solve the Province’s youth unemployment issue in a useful way. I and my officials shall extend our fullest support to this national effort and it is also my wish as an MP from the North to see many new industries and exporters springing up here.”