EDB to spearhead programs to develop SME sector | Daily News

EDB to spearhead programs to develop SME sector

NCE and LMD official at the launch of the third edition of the Coffee Table Book.
NCE and LMD official at the launch of the third edition of the Coffee Table Book.

Sri Lanka should egg on more SME sector based exporters and should also drive in entrepreneurial skill to them, said Chairman Export Development Board. (EDB) Suresh De Mel.

EDB Chairman Suresh De Mel addressing the AGM.
Pictures by Saliya Rupasinghe.

Suresh de Mel expressed his passion for working with SME exporters from regions and also highlighted his long-standing affiliations with regional chambers where he contributed immensely towards the development of SMEs capacity building and skill development. Under his leadership, EDB is planning to spearhead programs to develop the SME sector of the country and will be committed to supporting SME exporters of all regions.

In his address, as Chief Guest at the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) 26th Annual General Meeting de Mel further emphasized the importance of adding value to exports and reaching niche markets for Sri Lankan products and services. He said that the country should also increase agricultural exports as there is an emerging global market for it.

Newly elected NCE President Ravi Jayawardane, who is also the Chairman of Golden Palm Craft termed 2020 as the “Year of Challenges” to everyone due to the outbreak of the virus.

He also praised the government for reviving the Exports Development Council (EDC) after a prolonged gap of years. He further stated that it is encouraging to note that the EDC is chaired by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa himself, giving a clear indication of the government’s commitment to supporting the export industry in three key areas, New Markets for exporters, International Trade Agreements and the National Trade Policy.

He made a special request from the President to consider extending NCE a permanent representation at EDC which will result in reiterating the government’s commitment to facilitate exports and public-private partnership in developing the country.

NCE also presented its newly revamped website to its members and launched the third edition of the Coffee Table Book titled ‘Exporters Showcase’ which is published by Media Services in association with the Chamber, during the forum.

Jayantha Karunaratne and Kaushal Rajapakse were elected as the Vice Presidents of NCE respectively during the AGM.