NDB spices up Sri Lankan cinnamon industry

Thursday, 2 January 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

As part of its continued efforts to enable local industry, NDB recently carried out a special program to empower the cinnamon growers, exporters and cinnamon related product manufacturers. To create national consensus towards developing regional players in the cinnamon industry, NDB teamed up with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, The Spices and Allied Products Producers’ & Traders’ Association (SAPPTA) and the Galle District Chamber of Commerce to conduct a workshop for small and medium sector growers and exporters in Galle. Speaking at the event, NDB Chief Operating Officer Indrajit Wickramasinghe said: “As a bank dedicated towards national development, NDB has continuously placed special emphasis on the export sector as well as regional economic development which we believe is vital for propelling the national economy towards its growth targets. Thus regional business forums such as this are significant in their contribution to this end given its importance to the national economy. “The objective of this forum is to facilitate a dialogue between the key players in the industry of the region and several well-known industry specialists and professionals; to share best practices and related insight for further development of the industry. NDB and CCC place a lot of weight on the development of regional industry and we hope to conduct more programs of this nature in time to come.” Sri Lanka Standards Institute Deputy Director S.H.S. Mahagama addressed the gathering and educated them on the new mandatory SLS standards for Cinnamon SLS 81 while SAPPTA and Spice Council Chairman Sarada De Silva introduced the services available through the spice council to the stakeholders of the crop that were represented at the forum. The workshop concluded with a panel discussion on the ‘Way Forward for Increasing Regional Contribution for National Economic Growth’ led by the distinguished panellists SAPPTA and Spice Council Chairman Sarada De Silva, Sri Lanka Standards Institute Deputy Director S.H.S. Mahagama, Sri Lanka Export Development Board Assistant Director Nilmini Wanasinghe and Galle Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Ravi Kalansooriya. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Wasantha K.K. Liyanage, Professor of Agricultural Biology of University of Ruhuna, providing the opportunity for participants to raise concerns, expand knowledge and get clarifications on their queries. The program having enabled fellowship and networking amongst the industrialists of the region, received an overwhelming response from participants. Given its deep roots in SME banking, NDB firmly believes that SMEs form the backbone of the country’s economy. With a rich heritage in SME financing, NDB is fully geared and committed to help this sector to maximise the opportunities in the market. Therefore, in addition to SME lending, the bank has initiated programs such as this workshop to enhance the knowledge and skills of regional entrepreneurs to help them overcome the emerging challenges when conducting business. In a challenging business environment, NDB believes in continuous support to the SME sector by way of advisory, drawing out expertise from within NDB and the industry to empower SME entrepreneurs. NDB is one of the fastest growing banks in the country with NDB Group having regional operations in Maldives and Bangladesh. The bank offers a wide range of commercial banking services through its growing island-wide branch network open for extended hours until 6 p.m., catering to an increasing customer base from all walks of life. Through the combined synergies of the diverse constituents of the NDB Group, its customers have access to a full range of banking and financial services; including project finance, corporate banking, SME lending, retail banking, investment banking, stockbroking and wealth management making NDB a truly universal bank.