"Sri Lanka is currently entering into one of the most exciting phases with sustainable economic growth. Sri Lanka has recorded a growth of 6 to 8% for the last few years, “said Nobuhito Hobo Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka.
"As the balance of power in the global economy shifts to Asia, the export sector is expected to expand steadily in order to boost the economic growth in Sri Lanka. In addition, the recent CHOGM in Sri Lanka was an excellent opportunity to appeal and distribute the advantages and potentials of Sri Lanka for many world influential business people," Ambassador Hobo said speaking at the 21st Annual General Meeting of National Chamber of Exporters.
Following up on the outcome of the visit by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Japan last March, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has conducted a business need survey last October.
"The survey identified the business advantages of Sri Lanka such as high quality of workers and geographic advantage which is strategically located in the Indian Ocean. In this context, Sri Lanka can be a gateway to exports to not only South Asia, but also Middle East, Africa and Europe," Hobo said.
"Of course, Sri Lanka can effectively utilize the new EU-GSP scheme and free trade agreements with India and Pakistan in order to open up their markets for Sri Lankan exports. Furthermore, Sri Lanka can expand the new export industries such as "agricultural products", "mineral sand" and "business and knowledge-processing services" with high added value," he added.
"We all live in a turbulent era. Globalization impacts on global businesses causing more severe and tough competition. In this context, exporters are expected to improve their productivity and competitiveness in order to survive the turbulent global market. Indeed, a Japanese survey showed that productivity increases by 2% in average, for companies which start export operations."
It is said that to promote the manufacturing industry, it is essential to diversify the economy including the export sector, and it is the best timing to utilize foreign investments into Sri Lanka, particularly Japanese investments in views of networking Sri Lanka in the international market effectively.
"Over the last few decades, the global economy has changed rapidly. It changed with the power shift from traditional development countries to emerging markets in Asia. According to estimates, 70% of world growth over the next few years will come from emerging markets. In addition, the economic growth in Asia is expected to growth further over the next decade, with Asia holding half of the globe GDP and Trade."
"I would also like to commend the National Chamber of Exporters for achieving distinction by providing remarkable services to Sri Lanka's exporters since its establishment in 1986. The importance of this chamber is proven by the fact that around 440 export oriented companies have the membership and cover all export sectors," he added.