ri Lanka’s construction sector claims only 7.3 percent of GDP. However, the sector is much more important than these numbers would indicate. There is a strong SME presence in this sub-sector,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, addressing the inauguration event of six international exhibitions -International Exhibition on Windows and Doors, Aluminium Extrusion, Roofing & Façade, Glass, and Second International Exhibition on Sri Lanka Wood simultaneously at the BMICH yesterday.
“Firstly, the construction industry has become the clearest sign of the new economic growth phase, thanks to the vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In that, the immediate proof of our strong economic growth, could also be seen from the construction sector activities. As you may already be aware, more than 65 percent of our economy is the SME sector. SMEs therefore are our economic driver. Therefore I do not have to tell you of the, importance of it to our economic growth and employment generation. This is one reason, why we should pay close attention to our construction sector at all times,” he added. “The construction sector becomes ever more important as we aim to become the economic hub of Asia. In other words in the new international phase of the country, our construction sector development too needs to be in par with international designs and innovations, for us to achieve the hub status. It is here, that today’s inauguration of not just one but six international exhibitions, and a Forum, all at the same time becomes an industry and an exhibition milestone that we should commend. Wood, Glass, Aluminium, Roofing, Windows & Doors are all familiar items in our lives. But today, all these are, seen at an international level display here.”
The one-of-a-kind event is endorsed by the Industry Ministry with many private sector co-sponsors and associate partners, and an international event by Futurex. Joining Minister Bathiudeen on the occasion were Nawaz Rajabdeen (Chairman, Industrial Development Board), Prem Anveshi (Managing Director, Futurex Group), Bandula Egodage (Chairman & CEO-EDB) and reps from sponsoring firms -JAT Holdings, Alumex, and Leitz Tooling.
“Exhibitions such as these help the SMEs most unlike for the rich who have resources to fly out and import technology” said Prem Anveshi (Managing Director, Futurex Group) addressing the event, and added: “For SMEs such finances are not possible and international exhibitions held in their own country, such as these, they are able to see with their own eyes the new technology. That is where the revolution takes place.”
According to the Central Bank, in 2013, the construction sub sector grew by 14.4 percent, driven by highways, rail & road development projects, mega hotel projects, condominiums and housing units.