Lanka hosts World Packaging confab for the third time

Friday, 21 November 2014 01:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • SL FMCG packaging sales up 15%: Rishad
  • New era in packaging: WPO President Schneider
  • Packaging-related exports up by 25%
Bringing global packaging honour to Sri Lanka, the World Packaging Confab kicked off in Colombo for the second time yesterday, in the backdrop of a rise in packaging-related exports and FMCG packaging sales. “The upward trend in per capita consumption and the average packaging cost of FMCGs reporting 10-15% sales growth shows the strength of packaging development in Sri Lanka. The packaging sector of Sri Lanka is considered to be a priority area under the policy framework of President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 20 November in Colombo, addressing the third World Packaging Confab held yesterday in Colombo. The confab was previously held in Colombo in 1992 and 2009. Joining the 20 November session were Professor G.L. Peiris (Minister of External Affairs), Tom Schneider (President, World Packaging Organisation), Kieth Pears (Secretary, General World Packaging Organisation), Ariana Susanti (President Asian Packaging Federation), Dr. N.C. Saha (Secretary General, Asian Packaging Federation), D.C. Perera (President, Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging), and D. Ratnayake (Chairman, Packaging Development Centre), among others. “This global event here comes at a time that when we witness growth in per capita consumption in packaging,” said Minister Bathiudeen. He added: “It is cross-cutting and fast moving. I have been informed by Sri Lanka Packaging Development Centre in certain economic sectors the packaging industry has recorded an annual 10% growth. As global experts of the industry, I am sure that you are aware of the good news that the global industry which stood at $ 799 b in 2012 is expected to grow at 4% per year till 2018. We all know that this industry creates the much-needed competitive advantage that helps the growth of exports that we witness today. Thanks to President Mahinda Rajapaksas export’s vision we continue to record strong exports. In September 2014 exports rose to $ 903 million. We cannot easily identify the industry’s own growth numbers, but still at least one segment, the print based industry, consists of strong value inputs from packaging industry. I am pleased to say that in 2009-2013 Sri Lanka’s print-based exports have increased by a strong 25% to $ 101 m. I am also pleased to say that even my Ministry has increased support to the packaging sector. During 2013 and this year we have spent more than $ 42,000 to assist this sector.” The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has also been successful in enlisting important research and development institutions such as SLSI, ITI and the National Cleaner Production Centre to Sri Lanka’s packaging sector. Addressing the event, World Packaging Organisation President Tom Schneider said: “There’s a new era in packaging. Packaging today is about cleaner water, and safer food – it’s about effective commerce. For the next several decades, the priority will be rapidly providing safe food for world markets. Packaging and the technology behind it has become a strategic tool to maximise the effective use with minimal amount of packaging. Sustainability in packaging is no longer a mere idea. Many tech innovations have been driven by packaging sector. The mission of WPO is greater quality of life through packaging.” Minister of External Affairs Prof. GL Peiris, making a lengthy speech, stressed on the importance of packaging in Sri Lanka exports gaining bigger markets. Global packaging experts and resource persons from Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Turkey and Sri Lanka, were making presentations at 20 November event.