Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Rishad Bathiudeen (centre right) and High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu (centre left) joined by local and foreign industry leaders, launch Lankapak 2019 at BMICH yesterday
- 40 Indian companies and firms from S’pore, Thailand, China/HK at Colombo’s Lankapak 2019
- Packaging support for Sri Lanka SMEs for the first time: Rishad
- Increasing no. of SL industry expos prove resilience of Lankan economy: Indian HC
A critical group of Sri Lankan industry sub-sectors is set to reap bigger gains riding on the surges in e-commerce as well as Indian and Asia-Pacific markets.
For the first time, Sri Lanka SMEs are receiving Government’s direct support for their packaging efforts. Meanwhile, Colombo’s 38th international industry expo on packaging, paper and printing recorded the largest local and international industry supplier turnout in recent times.
“Asia-Pacific has become the leading market in the global retail e-commerce packaging. This opens new opportunities for Sri Lanka’s packaging sector, especially our packaging industries who are looking to enter international markets. I call our industry to use these openings and capitalise on them,” said Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday, addressing the launch event of the 38th anniversary of the Lankapak exhibition series at the BMICH.
Also present were Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu, State Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training Buddhika Pathirana, Asian Packaging Federation President Rohan Victoria, Indian PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry representative Rakesh Shangrai and Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging President Anuradha Jayasinha.
One of the most important industry exhibitions to take place in Colombo, the Lankapak series, supported by the ministry, focuses on the five Ps – Packaging, Processing, Printing, Paper and Plastic. This year’s expo is attended by exhibitors from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and India. Forty Indian companies in these sectors are a key highlight of this event.
“In 2016, 40 companies from all countries took part but this year, it has grown to 87. Also this year almost 38 connected sub-industry sectors are taking part,” said Bathiudeen.
“Printing and packaging are important elements in branding Sri Lanka to global markets. In that, packaging plays an important role in our exports. As a result international packaging and safety requirements are impacting on our export packaging industry, which innovates on this. The Ministry with the Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging has introduced service programs for SMEs at regional level for the first time. This is to strengthen SME value chains. As a result our SMEs have entered the packaging sector. Forty SME industries in the north and east have already been trained under the Packaging Technology Improvement Program in the first stage.”
High Commissioner Sandhu addressing the event stressed on the resilience of the Sri Lankan economy. “Within a month I’ve attended five industry exhibitions here. The number of these exhibitions show the resilience of Sri Lankan economy and its people, which is truly impressive.
“In recent exhibitions here Indian companies far outnumbered companies from other countries due to their large scale. We believe that together we can achieve more. Some believe interdependency is a sign of weakness, but to me it is undoubtedly a sign of strength. Problems in today’s world are too complex to be resolved by a single country alone. India’s packaging industry is expected to touch $ 73 billion by 2020. This creates lots of opportunities for industries of both countries.”
According to Morgan Philips, throughout Central and East Asia, South East Asia and Oceania, the Asia-Pacific region packaging market “continues to enjoy strong growth with volume expected to rise by a CAGR of 5% over the 2014-2018”. According to Reuters, with the growth of online and internet shopping, the global retail e-commerce packaging market too is growing at a much faster rate at 5.9%.