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Call to set up ‘one stop shop’ :

Ornamental fish industry targets $ 1 billion forex

The Government has identified the ornamental fish industry as a thrust industry to reach US$ one billion in foreign exchange. The new sector can become a threshold industry in the country.

The Ornamental Fish Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka (OFEASL) has called upon the Government to expedite the process of setting up a “one stop shop” to facilitate the export process.

“This was discussed along with other related Associations of cut flower, foliage and edible fish to enable these exporters to complete the procedure hassle free saving time and money. It will also allow them more business and more income”, the Association’s President Sathyendra Wijayapura said.

The new cargo terminal developed in 2004 with Japanese aid to suit the needs of the perishable products’ exporters is yet to be opened. “We could overcome many difficulties if this facility is made available. At present we do not have a place to store the cargo until it is loaded to the aircraft. At times we have to keep the cargo in the hot sun. This will affect our exports”, he said.

SriLankan Airlines provides a better service for us and we appreciate their support.

However, the airlines available are not sufficient for us to capture new markets and we need more airlines to Sri Lanka. The longer the time we take to transport our products poses a risk, he said.

“We need the support of the Government for more facilities and incentives as over 50,000 stakeholders are involved in the industry. It welcomes low interest credit facilities and funding. The industry has to compete with markets such as Israel, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. China is also emerging as a leading ornamental fish exporter. We face stiff competition”, he said.

The industry needs more budget allocations to redevelop as one of the high export earning sectors. It will bring back returns faster than other industries and it does not use foreign outputs as it is a 100 percent local industry. The benefits are distributed among many areas in the country, he said.

 

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