Bringing global packaging honour to Sri Lanka, the World Packaging Confab kicked off in Colombo for the second time yesterday.Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the event said, the upward trend i n per capita consumption and the average packaging cost of FMCGs reporting a 10-15 percent sales growth show the strength of packaging development in Sri Lanka.
“It is cross-cutting and fast moving. I have been informed by Sri Lanka Packaging Development Centre in certain economic sectors the packaging industry has recorded an annual 10 percent growth. As global experts of the industry, I am sure that you are aware of the good news that t he global i ndustry which stood at $799 billion in 2012 is expected to grow at 4 percent per year till 2018. In 2009-2013, Sri Lanka’s print based exports have increased by a strong 25 percent to $ 101 million. I would also like to note that even our Ministry has increased support to the packaging sector. During 2013 and this year we have spent more than $42000 to assist this sector.”
Joining the session were Professor G L Peiris (Minister of External Affairs), Tom Schneider ( President, World Packaging Organisation), Kieth Pears (Secretary, General World Packaging Organisation), Ariana Susanti (President Asian Packaging Federation), Dr N C Saha (Secretary General, Asian Packaging Federation), D C Perera (President, Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging), and D Ratnayake (Chairman, Packaging Development Centre), among others.
Industry and Commerce Ministry has also been successful in enlisting important research and development institutions such as SLSI, I TI and the National Cleaner Production Centre to Sri Lanka’s packaging sector.Addressing the event, Tom Schneider, President World Packaging Organisation said: “There’s a new era i n packaging. Packaging today is about cleaner water, and safer food. it’s about effective commerce. For t he next several decades, the priority will be rapidly providing safe food for world markets. Packaging and the technology behind it has become a strategic tool to maximise the effective use with minimal amount of packaging. Sustainability in packaging is no longer a mere idea. Many tech innovations have been driven by packaging se ct o r. Th e mission of WPO is greater quality of life through packaging.”Global packaging experts and resource persons from Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Turkey and Sri Lanka made presentations.