The EDB in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products (SLAMERP) and Plastic and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka (PRISL) organised a two-day workshop from 13 to 14 July on product innovation, technology and R&D to upgrade the knowledge of the tyre manufacturers/exporters by obtaining the services of international technical experts.
The first collaborative tyre workshop was concluded successfully on 14 July at The Kingsbury, Colombo with the participation of over 100 technical personnel of leading tyre manufacturing and exporting companies in Sri Lanka.
The objective of this workshop was to enhance the technical knowledge of the tyre industry personnel and provide exposure on latest developments and R&D of the international tyre industry.
EDB Director General Jeevani Siriwardena said that this kind of knowledge sharing workshops which contribute to introduce manufacturing excellence to the production processes and to keep in line with the global market trends such as growing importance of sustainability concepts and cost effective production processes.
Moreover, she stated: “We are pleased to note that the sector players are continuously introducing new technology, investing in state-of-the-art production facilities and also diversifying into new and innovative products.”
The tyre industry is known to be a technology intensive industry and requires trained skilled personnel who have the experience on modern machinery and equipment, mature processing technology and high level of product development to keep in line with the global market trends.
In order to sustain and grow in the international market, the tyre industry has to constantly upgrade their production processes, adapt and improve their products, invest in R&D, innovations, comply with standards and required certifications, new technology and laboratory testing available in the world.
EDB works very closely with the industry and is constantly in dialogue with them to identify and addresses the sector needs to keep in line with global requirements.
Keeping in line with the above , EDB has implemented several programmes for the rubber industry in the recent past, including a System Development Programme to obtain ISO 14001 and 50001 certifications, Technical Training and Exposure Programme at Tun Abdul Razake Research Centre (TARRC), UK and Hevea Academy of Malaysia ,Malaysian Rubber Board in Malaysia .
This workshop on product innovation, technology and R&D is another initiative undertaken by the EDB in association with the SLAMERP and PRISL for the advancement of the industry. EDB is confident that these efforts will contribute positively towards achieving the industry export targets and realising the export targets of the country.
The EDB Director General also stated that EDB had formulated the National Exports Strategy (NES) to diversify the export product basket and the export markets. Six focused sectors and four trade support functions (TSF) were identified by the private and public stakeholders during the consultations that have been carried out in different phases.
Although the identified sectors are ICT, Wellness Tourism, Spice Concentrates, Boat Building, Processed Food and Beverages, and Electronic, Electrical and Machinery, all export sectors including the mature sectors such as apparel, rubber will benefit from the strengthening of trade support functions under the NES. These TSFs include National Quality Infrastructure, Innovation and R&D, Logistics and Trade Promotion.
Further she mentioned that EDB has just commenced a program to facilitate enterprises with their marketing efforts/branding, product and production process development, etc. through the Market Access Support program, which is a National Budget proposal. The Government has allocated Rs. 800 m for market access and this program is one of the windows under the project .The other programs include innovative entrepreneurship, collaborative research and Sri Lanka venture frontier program.