Craft sector could play vital role
Sri Lanka has to widen its marketing focus through differentiation
and branding of the products to position the country in the niche
segment of the international market place. The apparel sector has
strongly branded the country as a centre for manufacturing excellence
and ethical practices to the global retailers. However, there is a need
to do much more in the areas of fashion and design, Export Development
Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Janaka Ratnayake said.
The craft sector could play a vital role in the economic mainstream
and it could be instrumental in absorbing the talents and capabilities
of the rural sector facilitating the country's exports efforts, he said.
The design and fashion industry could be positioned in the niche
market by catering to latest fashion trends, brands, differentiation of
product and manufacturing compliance. It is necessary to link with the
rural based traditional creative industries with the global audience.
Sri Lanka's inherited craftsmanship, cultural diversity and rich
natural resources provide the base for a wide range of giftware and
decorative items. These should be design in keeping with the global
market requirement. The country could supply special products of proven
quality and this holds ample scope for the development of the craft
industry ensuring returns in foreign exchange.
The development of 'export ready' SMEs targeting the niche export
market will increase the foreign revenue while providing vital
livelihood opportunities for the rural community. There is a need for a
creative and innovative market approach to enter in to competitive
global market. Sri Lanka could capitalize on the abundant natural raw
material and skilled craftsmanship.
"The country could benefit by obtaining a premium price for our
crafts and giftware if there are marketed under popular marketing
concepts such as eco-friendly, green label, ethical manufacturing and
social responsibility. All these marketing concepts are now within the
supply capabilities of Sri Lankan craft manufactures, owing to the
development programs undertaken previously," Ratnayake said.
The vision of the Export Development Board (EDB) is to emphasize
making Sri Lanka the most sought after destination for global sourcing
in identified products and services.
The second annual Sri Lanka Design Festival 2010 organized by the
Academy of Design Sri Lanka was concluded Tuesday (16).