The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE), which is the only private sector chamber which exclusively serves Sri Lankan exporters and represents them with relevant state authorities, has formulated and presented budget proposals related to the export sector well in advanced to enable the Ministry of Finance to consider and include them in the national budget.
The chamber has conducted a brainstorming session with sectoral heads of the relevant products and services sectors to discuss their considered views and suggestions to formulate meaningful proposals to facilitate the effects of the Government to accelerate exports and achieve national economic development targets.
Technical officers from the Finance Ministry as well as the head of research of the well-known Verité Research participated on invitation in the professional panel related to the brainstorming session assisted by NCE President Ramal Jasinghe, Immediate Past President Sarada M. De Silva and Secretary General Shiham Marikar.
Following the brainstorming session, the chamber has also collected additional information from member exporters and collated the information to justify the benefits of the proposals. The chamber is planning to conduct a budget proposal analysis forum after the budget is read in Parliament on November 2018.
The chamber notes that some of the proposals submitted by it during the preceding years including the proposals to establish an EXIM bank, strengthen the Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation, Venture Capital Financing, Assistance for Innovation and the creation of a cinnamon training academy encompassing the whole value chain of cinnamon, had been accepted, although such proposals are yet to see the light of day. Therefore the chamber trusts that its proposals will be included in the national budget and more importantly implemented to derive beneficial results.
Among the important new proposals made by the chamber are the following:
nThe importance of branding Sri Lanka in the international marketplace
nReduction of the cost of working capital for the industrial sector by providing a suitable rebate to banks in respect of interest charged
nTax relief provided to companies to encourage listing on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE)
nMeasures to encourage and facilitate the establishment of solar power units wherever possible to support power generation, without depending on fossil fuels especially during drought periods
nStreamlining the implementation of compliances and regulatory clauses by segregating exports from imports
nMeasures to overcome constraints for the development and expansion of the Sri Lankan spice industry, especially Ceylon Cinnamon in which Sri Lanka has a monopoly in
nNecessity to provide a package of assistance to develop and promote value added high tech products.
nMeasure to overcome complications arising due to requiring custom clearance entries prior to each and every sale related to local sales in the garment sector and others in addition to exports
nTo make available a proper international cheap payment gateway system. Preferably with PayPal
nLack of technically qualified and nationally recognised cinnamon industry workforce, and use of machinery to improve process technology for value addition
nEncourage more local industries to use local raw materials and especially local waste
nReduction of cost of working capital for the industrial sector by providing a suitable rebate to banks in respect of interest charged
nRequest to establish a ‘Skills Development Fund’ to support specific in-house activities implemented by export enterprises