A CBI mission consist of Minke Vorstenbosh – Team Coordinator Unit Asia and Eastern Europe, Peter Van Gilst - Team Coordinator Unit Africa, Marieke de Ruyter de Widt –Researcher sustainable supply chain development,-Agricultural Economics Research Institute LEI Wageningen UR visited FCCISL recently to conduct an internal evaluation of the different services CBI offers.
Tissa Jayaweera, President, FCCISL welcomed the CBI mission and participated in the discussions with Secretary General and a few Senior Officers of FCCISL.
The Federation of chambers of commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) entered into a partnership agreement with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) of Netherlands in June 2007 to facilitate the export capacity of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from Sri Lanka to the European Union (EU).
During the discussion the FCCISL officials explained that under this partnership agreement the FCCISL with the assistance of CBI implemented several programmes successfully in the past few years such as Export Coaching Programme through which seven officers of FCCISL were trained in the Netherlands and Sri Lanka through diverse programmes such as Export Marketing & Management Programme, Acquisition and dissemination of export related information, Strategic Planning Workshop conducted in August and December 2010 etc. The establishment of Central Province Exporters’ Chamber is also an outcome of the CBI programme. The President said the FCCISL submitted this comprehensive programme during the conflict period in the country and we would have derived more benefits if a similar proposal was made and implemented in the current context.
The FCCISL in collaboration with Regional Chambers organises programmes particularly for the benefit of SMEs. Assistance from other donor agencies in countries like Norway and Sweden is coming with direct financial assistance for the SMEs. FCCISL emphasised the need of having CBI support too including financial support for activities such as export oriented clustering, assistance to train local consultant for SME related programmes, assistance to SMEs to participate in seminars and workshops etc.
During the subsequent meeting held at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Colombo to present the preliminary result of the CBI mission it was reported that was good to hear in general that CBI was doing a good and highly appreciated job, and that they are thankful to FCCISL for making some valuable recommendations for them to further improve their services complimentarily to other organisations.
The FCCISL with the assistance of CBI, Netherlands and in collaboration with Sri Lanka Export Development Board is planning to conduct four programmes for exporters & potential exporters in the Southern Region (Galle) in March, in the Central Region (Kandy) in June, Eastern Region (Trincomalee) in September and Northern Region (Jaffna) in December 2011.
The first programme in Southern Region (Galle) will be conducted on 3 March 2011 by CBI consultants on the latest development in quality and production requirements in the EU market (including specific sector information) and accessing trade information /statistical data and trade portals.