Head of Delegations at Asia Pacific Retail Convention and Exhibition
Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA) President Sidath Kodikara and SLRA Vice President Murali Prakash attended the 19th Asia-Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition (APRCE), which was held from 5 to 7 September, at Chongqing Yuelai International Convention Centre, Chongqing, China. The theme of this year APRCE was ‘New Retail, New Consumption, New Dynamics – Cooperation and Sharing’. This is one of key events organised by Federation of Asia Pacific Retailers Association (FAPRA).
They were also invited to attend the Heads of Delegation meeting of FAPRA which was held on 7 September. SLRA was inducted as a full member by the FAPRA Executive Council during this meeting.
“FAPRA membership is expected to give SLRA a plethora of benefits in reinventing retail in Sri Lanka. Possible knowledge sharing, exchange programs for executives, opening of windows for local retailers in other markets, possibilities of joint missions and ventures and understanding trends and retail inventions are some of the possible actions that are being explored. In our quest to build retail excellence in Sri Lanka and to make it a retail hub for shopping, SLRA considers this alliance a great way forward both for the retail industry and country at large, asserted the two executive SLRA members who visited.”
From left: SLRA President Sidath Kodikara, FAPRA Chairman and MRA Honorary President Tan Sri William Cheng, SLRA Vice President Murali Prakash
FAPRA was founded in 1983 and fully established in 1989 at the 4th APRCE in Singapore. Since then, it has implemented activities and developed itself with the aim of discussing common issues in the region, promote information exchange and friendship, thereby contributing to the development of commerce and the improvement of retailers’ status in the region.
The FAPRA is the umbrella organisation of 19 retail associations in the Asia-Pacific region, i.e. Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam, has over the years assisted its members to foster closer ties, promote collaboration and exchange knowledge. SLRA is honoured to be the only representation from Sri Lanka and its 20th member.
During the head of delegation meeting, Sidath Kodikara introduced Sri Lanka and presented the country report on Sri Lanka retail market. The Sri Lanka retail industry had recorded an encouraging growth of 6.6% CAGR since 2013, and the scale is $ 31 billion which accounts for the 1/3 of the National GDP. Retail industry continued its emerging contribution to the nation’s economy and recorded an employment of 1.17 million (14% of labour market of SL) staff with more than 300,000 retail outlets. For year 2019 quarter 1, wholesale and retail trade indicates 4.4% growth.
The 19th APRCE is visited by more than 4,000 delegates and participants from more than 10 countries/regions, whilst the next APRCE will be held in Indonesia in year 2021.
Representatives of FAPRA member associations hold hands tightly to foster closer ties and promote collaboration. From left: SLRA President Sidath Kodikara, MRA President James Loke (6th from left), China General Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jiang Ming, FAPRA Chairman and MRA Honorary President Tan Sri William Cheng