The country has a golden opportunity to expand the export sector mainly to the Asian region and there are a number of countries which we could further increase our exports, said Chairman and CEO, Sri Lanka Export Development Board Anil Koswatte at the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Among the Asian countries that we could focus on are Slovakia, Colombia, Portugal, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Romania, South Korea and Syria.
There are at least 200 countries in the world market with a population exceeding 6.7 billion consumers. It is our target market. There are ample market opportunities and the sky is the limit. The market is dynamic where consumer patterns change and new market opportunities emerge constantly along with the changing market tastes and patterns , he said.
We have to increase our productivity and go for value addition for products. It is also necessary to adopt simple technologies and improve agricultural practices without incurring much cost. We have to constantly manufacture up to date state-of-the-art machinery and improve innovative technology , he said.
The recession should not be treated as an alarming factor, but rather a temporary phenomenon. The export process in the country to a large extent depends on unavoidable factors such as changing weather conditions, factors that govern the global market, demand for each specific product and economic upturns and recessions. These are externalities that a country has no control over, he said.
The Export Development Board s strategy to arrest the declining trend in exports is to concentrate on promoting the identified emerging products and markets while assisting exporters for more increased value addition, he said.
During the first five months from January to May 2009 the country s export sector recorded a 18 percent negative growth compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.