Sri Lanka’s surging tourism numbers and rising global demand of herbal products have resulted in an Ayurveda revenue boom in Sri Lanka.
“The practice of Ayurveda uses almost local plants and species, rarely using any imports and therefore does not affect our imports bill or trade gap significantly. Our 2012 Ayurveda exports rose by a strong 95% in comparison to 2010 Ayurveda export volumes” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce.
The Minister was addressing the inauguration event of international Ayurveda 2013 exhibition, the latest in the annual series of Indigenous Healthcare Exhibition & Trade Fair held annually in Colombo.
The international exhibition and symposium held at BMICH Colombo, is aimed at popularizing and creating a demand for the Ayurveda and Indigenous medical products and services in Sri Lanka and abroad.
Exhibitors and resource personnel from India, China, Thailand, France, Germany and South Africa were took part in this year’s fair.
“Our Ayurveda product exports show a positive trend. Our total “medicament exports” in all categories in 2012, stood at $ 3.5 Million, increasing by 3.8% over 2011 exports. We exported $ 260,000, of ‘Ayurveda only products’ in 2012. This is a strong 95% increase, in comparison to 2010 Ayurveda exports. The leading buyers of our herbal exports in 2012 were Australia, Maldives, Japan, India and Albania” Minister Bathiudeen said, and added: “Also, surging tourism in Sri Lanka, thanks to the committed vision of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is becoming a growth driver for Sri Lanka’s Ayurveda industry. Along with this, rising global demand for herbal alternatives, the beauty care industry, health food and beverages, Ayurveda clinics and medicinal herbs, are other related industries that show growth potential that has a positive effect on the Ayurveda industry in Sri Lanka.”
A top Indian Ayurveda medicine manufacturer is upbeat on prospects in Sri Lanka. “We have been taking part in this expo since 2007. We have been also getting excellent responses from Lankan buyers and doctors” said Shashank Sandu, Director of Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Mumbai. “Presently, we are only importing and distributing our products in Sri Lanka but also ready to explore joint ventures with suitable local partners on Ayurvedic formulations and specially in Ayurvedic medicinal plantations projects. ‘Medicinal plantations’, since we see Sri Lanka as a biodiversity hotspot with strong potential to become a part of our raw material supply chain” added Sandu, whose 100 year-long historic Mumbai based Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd (SPL) also has health spas and resorts under it, among other ventures, reported $ 16.6 Mn turnover in 2012 (only for pharmaceutical revenues). SPL is also an ISO 9001:2000 certified firm.