- “Mulling four more industrial zones for North” – Rishad
- Boat making,seafood among targeted sectors
- 26 industrial zones now in operation across the country
In a new initiative to draw international investors to the Northern Province, the setting up of four more new industrial zones is being contemplated by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. “The Ministry of Industry and Commerce being the key Ministry that facilitates regional industrial development, has included to its five year plan the development of five new regional industrial estates (zones) in the Northern Province. This initiative will support industrialisation of the Province and also create at least 5,000 new employment opportunities for the people of North,” announced Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on 18 January.
Bathiudeen was addressing the gathering at the inauguration of the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF) 2013 on 18 January. 26 industrial zones are already in operation in Sri Lanka under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, providing more than 20,000 people with direct employment.
A new industrial zone has commenced in Mannar with two new garment factories being built. The other planned Northern industrial zones are in the districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. All the newly planned zones in the North will integrate only non-hazardous industries. The approximate cost of all five Northern zones is estimated to be Rs. 1 billion ($ 7.8 million).
“The Ministry started the first Northern Province Industrial Estate in Mannar in 2010, where two garment factories are already being built and are nearing completion. The second northern industrial park will be established in Omanthai, to bring Vavuniya to our national industries. Our focus is to facilitate the thrust sectors such as the salt based industry, boat manufacturing, seafood processing and palmyrah based industries.
“I urge the participants of the Jaffna International Trade Fair to seriously consider making use of the support services and facilities in the regional industrial estates and establish future business and in investment projects that can contribute towards the development of the region in a big way,” Bathiudeen said.