Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe inspecting exhibits, as Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen (centre left) looks on. Pic by: Kithsiri de Mel
The Sri Lankan government is planning to introduce technological solutions for the country’s traditional crafts industry, it was revealed at the Shilpa Abhimani–2016 Presidential Awards and Handicrafts Exhibition inauguration.
“It is time we bring in new technologies to this sector. Together with our Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, we are planning to introduce new tech to Sri Lankan crafts sector,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said..
Organized by the National Crafts Council, this year’s exhibition included 100 local exhibitors, and for the first time, included regional participation with 30 exhibitors arriving from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
Wickramasinghe said that the Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Ministry is hoping to introduce new technologies to help craftsmen to help expand their businesses.
“As they are SMEs, we also plan to increase funding to them through budgeted SME funds,” he added.
“Crafts and designs are very competitive and increasingly market-driven. Therefore it is important for our craftsmen to be up to date in their work,” Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen added.
He said that the government will support Sri Lankan craftsmen to gain international exposure at global trade fairs, where participants use cutting edge 3D printing and laser operated design setups.
Bathiudeen said that over 1,000 craft related jobs have been created this year, and that he is hoping the number would increase by threefold next year.