To reduce loss of foreign exchange:
SL to set up Life Sciences Parks
In the wake of Sri Lanka’s industry sector showing a strong 7.3%
growth in Q3-2012, the country is mulling a dedicated park for life
“A dedicated zone for Life Sciences is being planned for the
production of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to reduce the loss
of foreign exchange,” revealed Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry
and Commerce of Sri Lanka.
Minister of Industry and Commerce
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the Key Persons Forum (KPF) at
Queen’s Hotel in Kandy on January 15, where more than 100 reps from
various industries in Central Sri Lanka anxiously gathered to meet him
to directly consult on various industrial issues faced by them.
The January 15 KPF was organised by the Small and Medium Enterprise
Developers (SMED) arm of FCCISL and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
of Central Province, in collaboration with the Asia Foundation and
supported by the Australian Agency for International Development.
“The government has set up my ministry with a large amount of funds
to serve you, the industrialists of the country.
But we believe that Lankan industrialists are not making use of our
resouces sufficiently or reaping the maximum benefits offered by our
ministry. Remember, we are here to assist you,” stressed Minister
During the lengthy and in-depth Kandy KPF session, Minister
Bathiudeen, along with his top officials from the Department of
Commerce, EDB (regional), successfully addressed many issues faced by
central regional industrialists, on the spot.
Among the issues addressed were Kandyan industries to international
markets through the Export Development Board, facilitation of region’s
SME sector for international trade fairs, land and tax issues faced by
Interestingly, during the same session, Minister Bathiudeen also
volunteered to address several issues beyond his ministry’s scope –such
as farming issues in various micro sectors in the region and also Kandy
tourism promotion. “For today’s initiative to be fruitful, we need to
continue similar sessions in future as well,” said WMR Manager of
Woodworld Enterprises, Pallekele, Kandy.
“Our doors are always open for you, the regional entrepreneurs. You
can directly contact us at any time for an appointment for discussion,
where our officials would take up the matter immediately,” Minister
More than 150 firms of every scale are functioning in the Kandyan
region, providing direct and indirect employment to a workforce
Plastics, woodcraft, jewellery, stationery, umbrellas, vehicle body
fittings and brass are among leading medium to large scale industries in
“Our industry sector has been able to show an impressive growth rate
of 10.3 percent in 2011 for the second consecutive year, contributing to
the year’s 8.3 percent GDP growth.
In the first, second and third quarters of 2012, the industry sector
grew by 10.8 percent, 9.5 percent and 7.3 percent respectively.
We believe that the behavior of the industry sector needs to be more
strategic, focused and energetic, so that it becomes a viable input to
achieve $ 20 billion exports by year 2020.”