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NCE-ILO renew contract for LEED project

23 February 2017 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


NCE President Ramal Jasinghe exchanging the contract documents with the LEED Project Consultant. Also in the picture are NCE Secretary General Shiham Marikar, LEED Project National Programme Coordinator Nihal Devagiri and NCE Assistant Secretary Kala Amirthalingam


The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) renewed its commitment to support the economic development activities of the Northern Province, to enhance the income of the people by conducting an awareness programme for 
non-member exporters.  
The NCE has extended the existing agreement with the International Labour Organization (ILO)to support the development activities of the Northern Province through the Local Empowerment for Economic Development (LEED) project, which has been in operation in the Northern Province since 2011. 
LEED is an initiative of the International Labour Organization(ILO) funded by the Norwegian government. 
The project has gained recognition and credibility with the government as well as producers and manufacturers in the province, through its business development initiatives to stimulate successful local economic development. 
It has linked producers in the Northern Province especially in the agriculture and fisheries sector, with established member exporters of the NCE in the South to enable export of products from the Northern Province to international market. 
The project serves to enhance the income and livelihoods of the people in the north, for sustainable growth. The project therefore, contributes to the reconciliation efforts of the government, between people of north and south. This new business model has created many opportunities for the producer communities in the north and has been proven to be one of the best models in promoting and sustaining growth in agriculture, fisheries, and manufacturing. The NCE is, the only private sector chamber which exclusively serves Sri Lankan exporters in Sri Lanka and has around 500 established member export enterprises. 
The NCE has collaborated with ILO with a view to establishing meaningful business relationships between the producers and manufacturers in the Northern Province and exporters in the South for mutual benefit and sustainable growth.
Following initial assessments in 2011, the NCE successfully organized several member business delegations from among its member companies to visit the Northern region covering the Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, and Jaffna districts, to explore business opportunities in the agriculture and fisheries sectors.  These visits were facilitated by the office of the LEED project in Kilinochchi, and supported by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. The member exporters of the delegation have held discussions with the relevant state officials in the province and also visited relevant producer and manufacturing groups to establish business linkages. 
As at today, established exporters such as CR Exports, HJS Condiments and Rabeena Foods have already established firm business linkages and agreement with producer groups, and have exported their products, earning valuable foreign exchange, improving the livelihoods of producers. 
To achieve the objective of the LEED project to promote inclusive economic development among the people in the Northern Province, creating decent employment and long-term sustainable livelihoods. It recognizes the important role of the private sector, and especially the export sector to achieve these objectives. The current initiatives of the chamber are to extend the opportunities for business linkages to non-member exporters in the south as well. In this regard, the awareness programme for non-member exporters conducted by the chamber on the 15th February 2017 at Hotel Galadari in collaboration with officials of the LEED project is expected to establish new business linkages. 


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