‘Will move fast on 100-day push’: Bathiudeen

Saturday, 17 January 2015 03:32 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Assumes duties as Minister of Industry and Commerce again Says joining with private sector in new phase  ‘2014 exports at $ 11 b’: Bathiudeen The private sector is set to be a driving force in Sri Lanka’s new phase of industry and international trade development, said newly-appointed Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, who added that he is ready to move fast on implementing the new Government’s 100-day reforms program.                           “I and my ministry shall improve on our export and industry performance further, in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s private sector. To fulfill the 100-day reform program of President Maithripala Sirisena effectively, we will move fast,” Minister Bathiudeen declared. Bathiudeen was speaking immediately after reassuming the office of the Minister of Industry and Commerce yesterday. Joining him at the occasion were his Deputy Champika Premadasa and other officials from the ministry. “I thank President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for appointing me as the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka. Our Government has pledged a 100-day reform program which will culminate in the ‘Maithri (good) Governance’ of the country. Seventy representatives of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) decided to strengthen the Maithri campaign and moved to support him to clinch victory, amidst daunting challenges that we faced. This ministry now expects to develop the Sri Lankan industry and export sectors to new levels. We have now achieved almost $ 11 billion exports in 2014,” said Minister Bathiudeen. “President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government has now placed the country on a better footing, bringing us ethnic harmony, unity and togetherness, and we will help him to sustain this new peace.” Sri Lanka’s January-November provisional merchandise exports this year topped $ 10.108 billion, rising by 7.5% from 2013 January-November export values. Service exports values such as ICT/BPM exports are not included in January-November 2014 totals. Except for export crops, natural rubber and diamonds, growth has been seen across the board in all other export sectors. Thus 2014 YoY January-November apparel exports surged by a strong 10.35% to $ 4.458 billion, which is 94% of annual apparel exports target set for this year (base formulated in 2011). Furthermore, annual targets of such sectors as coconuts, fruits and vegetables and floriculture have also been achieved by January-November 2014 totals.