By Cheranka Mendis
The Export Development Board (EDB) will honour key exporters of the country for their performance in the years 2007, 2008, and 2009 next week at Temple Trees.
The awards presentation, which is in its 15th year, will be presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and will honour the companies that did not receive recognition during the three years that the award ceremony was a no-show. The Export Award is the most prestigious award presented by the Government for the most outstanding contributions made by the exporters for the economic and social development of Sri Lanka. The turnaround of the apparel and tea sectors from the recession has added special significance for the forthcoming event. The applications for the Awards were invited covering a wide field of the export economy.
EDB Chairman Janaka Ratnayake told the Daily FT that the awards would be presented under two categories – products and services.
Under the products category, the award winners have been picked from the following export sectors: tea in value added form, coconut and coconut kernel based products, food and beverages, confectionary and baked products, agricultural products including organic products, Ayurvedic and health/personal care products, aquarium fish and aquatic plants, fish and fisheries products, diamond, gems and jewellery and rubber products.
Under services the awards will be given to professional services (such as legal, accounting, architecture, engineering, quantity surveying, medical, dental, etc.), computer related services, construction contracting, banking and insurance, transport, printing and packaging, ship building and repairing, entrepot trading and services provided to airlines and shipping including bunkers.
A special set of awards such as ‘Sri Lankan Exporter of the Year,’ ‘Best SMR,’ ‘Best Sri Lankan Brand Exporter,’ ‘Highest Net Foreign Exchange Earner,’ ‘Exporter to the Highest Number of Destinations,’ ‘Exporter who has made the Largest Contribution for Rural Development’ and ‘Innovative Exporter of Products and Services’ will also be given away.
EDB has received over 225 applications and will be present a total of 57 awards. The companies that have applied for the awards have also been broken down into two segments, large scale and SME level to encourage transparency and efficiency in the system.
The categorisation of companies has been done based on the company’s investment and turnover, Ratnayake said. Companies with annual average export sales of less than Rs. 150 million per annum are considered SMEs.
The judging panel, which consists of representative of leading chambers and eminent stakeholders in the public and private sectors, is led by a retired Supreme Court judge.
Outlining the criteria for the awards, Ratnayake stated that the panel had analysed the export performance of the companies for the three years, checked on the value additions and scrutinised and evaluated market development activities such as growth market recovery, new product market penetration and so on, as well as product development activities such as investments and quality improvements.
Social development or CSR projects undertaken and carried out by the companies are also taken into account along with environmental protective methods practised.