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Thursday, 18 November 2010

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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).

 

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