“No going back on $ 20 b by 2020,” vows Rishad

Wednesday, 2 January 2013 01:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Kicks-off ’13 with more focus on exports, investments

As global export markets continued to be more challenging, the Minister in charge of exports, holding firm on the national exports goal, vowed no dithering from $ 20 b exports by 2020 —and kicked-off this year’s official first working day routine with an appeal for direct employee involvement.

“The Ministry of Industry and Commerce oversees one-third of Sri Lankan manufacturing and almost two-thirds of Sri Lanka’s exports. AsIndustry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addresses his Ministry employees at the special 2013 first working day kick-off held yesterday we face increasing turmoil in our global markets, we need to be better focused as the institution overseeing our exports and as the employees of it, I want you all to get involved more to keep us on track,” announced Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 1 January.

Bathiudeen was addressing the special 2013 first working day kick-off of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce held at the Ministry premises yesterday.

The session saw more than 230 employees of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, including its Secretary Anura Siriwardene and top department heads, taking part in a one-hour long, traditional multi-religious ritual swiftly followed by the raising of the national flag at the premises.

“2011 was a successful year for us in many ways. In our goal of achieving $ 20 b exports by 2020 and to advance per capita to $ 4,000 under the committed vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we are now pushing ever harder on the exports front. While I thank you for your efforts to achieve the $ 20 b goal, I stress that we need to focus more closely, with more commitment,” Bathiudeen said.

Year 2011 saw the third largest global retailer Tesco eagerly expanding its links with Sri Lanka directly through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Many fruitful bilateral meetings in Sri Lanka and abroad also were concluded thereby, moving closer to Lanka’s exports targets, and the Ministry even reinforced the national investment goal of 35% of GDP by initiating several new industrial zones and successfully inviting a multinational automotive maker ‘Geely’ to establish plants in Sri Lanka (among others).

Many exhibitions of international standard in the industry and commerce sphere, including ‘Expo 2012,’ were showcased to a wider audience, while several departments under the Ministry showed strong performance, most notably the Registrar of Companies, which reported 1.8 b in its Company Fund.