Thursday, 23 January 2014 00:26
Global automotive picks Lankan coir for first time
Sri Lankan coir has grabbed the attention of a leading global automotive firm and is being used by Mercedes Benz.
“This is the first time we learn that our coir has gone to such high levels,” said EDB Director General Sujatha Weerakoone yesterday, addressing the ‘Exporting to Korea’ event, organised by and held at the EDB.
The session was attended by a 16-member strong South Korean undergrad delegation led by Prof. Bell C.J. Park of Myongji University, South Korea, who made a presentation. Also in attendance were more than 100 reps from various Sri Lankan exporters.
“Korea is the 15th largest economy in the world with a high per capita exceeding $ 27,900. At the moment our total trade with South Korea is around $ 380 million,” said Weerakoone. “Sri Lanka’s share of imports to South Korea is very low but we have great opportunities. Korea’s well-developed automotives need our high quality rubber and coir. I am happy to say that our coir is now used by Mercedes Benz. This is the first time we learn that our coir has gone to such high levels. There is also potential for our apparels and electric and electronic parts sector in the Korean market.”
In 2021, Sri Lanka exported $ 2.2 m of coir pads and $ 8.1 m of coir ropes. Germany ranked as the third-largest buyer of Lankan coir pads. In 2012, total trade with South Korea stood at $ 366 m. Apparel was the dominant export item from Sri Lanka, taking 30% of total export earnings from South Korea in 2012. 11% of Sri Lanka’s exports to South Korea in 2012 were coir fibre, ranking as the third export product to South Korea, behind apparel and industrial and surgical gloves.