Sri Lanka an ethical sourcing destination: EDB Chairman Egodage
Endorsed by ITC-Geneva and Italian Foreign Trade Association (AICE)
In the backdrop of the 1.3 million dollar deal wrapped by Sri Lanka Tourism in the launch month of Expo 2015, the Sri Lanka Export Development Board took the high ground in month two to announce a global endorsement to Sri Lanka backed by two power bases in global trade which gives perspective to Expo 2015 for Sri Lanka’s $ 75 billion economy growing at a 7% GDP growth, said Expo Sri Lanka Commissioner General Rohantha Athukorala.
Championed by Sri Lanka Export Development Board Chairman and Vice President of food giant Nestle Bandula Egodage the ‘Sri Lanka, ethical sourcing destination’ tag was successfully launched at the Sri Lanka pavilion of Expo Milano 2015 on 22 May in the precedence of the power bases of global trade; ITC Geneva Advisor Ludovica Ghizzoni, Association of Italian trade association (AICE) Secretary General Dr. David Doninetti and Pavilion Director Sri Lanka Dammika Jayawardane in a packed press conference.
Other key signatories at the press conference were Commissioner Generals and Pavilion Directors of Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Slovakia which highlights the power of the country at Expo 2015 said a source from Expo 2915 Milano office which is the spirit of the world’s most visited event next to the Olympics which is staged to prop the ailing Italian economy.
2015 Expo Milano is organised under the theme ‘Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life’. Sri Lanka as an ethical sourcing destination is well aligned to the global theme. Egodage stated that Expo Milano 2015 will be a platform for global reach, particularly to re-establish and strengthen bilateral relationships with the west, in the context of the EU region accounting for over 31% of export revenue for Sri Lanka.
Further he stressed that Sri Lanka’s export manufacturing built on solid factors such as no use of child labour, no forced labour, no labour exploitation, while maintaining environmental sustainability focusing green factory concept, waste and affluent recycling, water and fertiliser usage optimisation under green house concept, ozone friendly manufacturing and on-going efforts for renewable energy usage were highly attracted by the audience.
Both representatives from ITC and AICE strongly endorsed and validated Egodage’s statement with their own Sri Lankan experience.
Ludovica of ITC highlighting the long standing relationship between Sri Lanka and ITC ensured the continuous assistance to further improve Sri Lankan trade. Assistance to launch National Export Strategy, encouraging ICT/BPO sector, developing of E-Library and technical assistance to cinnamon GI registration are few of the on-going projects, while improving safety and quality of the Sri Lankan fruits and vegetables to enhance market accessibility particularly to the EU region.
Dr. Doninetti of AICE stated the need to re-establish the initiatives already taken in 2013 for promotion of bilateral trade with Italy. At present the value of trade between Italy and Sri Lanka stands at € 600 million; he further emphasised the need for further expansion of exports from Sri Lanka to have a positive trade balance. He assured organising outward missions and business matchmaking between Sri Lankan exporters and Italian importers would be facilitated by AICE toward that direction. He requested the company profiles of Sri Lankan companies visiting and exhibiting at Expo Milano 2015 to enable AICE to make appropriate matchmaking. We will see the rest of the key industries on Sri Lanka taking centre stage in the coming five months which will include the celebration of the Nation Day of Sri Lanka, said Commissioner General Athukorala.