The Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiutheen launched into a head start post budget 2011 by summoning all commercial officers posted abroad under the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, for a focussed strategy development workshop stemming from the budget of 2011 and the detailed strategic export development plan of the country that the ministry had architectured for the next five years.
The Minister requested that by end of the five day workshop, an actionable new model needs to be in place to achieve 20 billion dollars in export revenue by the year 2020.
He also advised that all stakeholders’ perspectives as represented by officials from the Department of Commerce, Export Development Board, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion bureau, Trade Chambers and Sri Lankan exporters should be taken into account so that the proposals in budget 2011 could be ably supported by the private sector.
“You are expected to develop your annual action plan to achieve the set targets for the year and your respective markets. I will personally evaluate your performance,” said Minister Bathiutheen.
Given that Sri Lanka is now a ‘new economic development model’ the new model of development requires the trade officers to be proactive rather than reactive so that Sri Lanka will be seen as a new country that is a hub for commercial activity he said. This includes a diversified product portfolio from Sri Lanka that caters to the emerging entrepreneurial opportunities of the Sri Lankan exporters. On behalf of the government the minister thanked the Centre for promotion of Imports from Developing countries (CBI), Netherlands and the EDB for jointly organising the event.