Bringing global packaging honour to Sri Lanka, the World Packaging Confab kicked off in Colombo for the third time on 20 November. Under this, not only packaging related exports, but also even Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) packaging sales are on the rise.
“The upward trend in per capita consumption and the average packaging cost of FMCGs reporting a 10-15% sales growth shows the strength of packaging development in Sri Lanka. Packaging sector of Sri Lanka is considered to be a priority area under the policy framework of H President Mahinda Rajapaksa” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka.
The confab was previously held in Colombo in 1992 and 2009. Minister of External Affairs Professor G L Peiris, Tom Schneider, President of the World Packaging Organisation, Secretary of the General World Packaging Organisation Kieth Pears were among the participants.
“This global event here comes at a time that when we witness growth in per capita consumption in packaging. The upward trend in per capita consumption and the average packaging cost of FMCGs reporting a 10-15% sales growth shows the strength of packaging development in Sri Lanka. Packaging sector of Sri Lanka is considered to be a priority area under the policy framework of President Mahinda Rajapaksa” said Minister Bathiudeen, and added: “It is cross-cutting and fast moving. I have been informed by Sri Lanka Packaging Development Centre in certain economic sectors the packaging industry has recorded an annual 10% growth.
As global experts of the industry, I am sure that you are aware of the good news that the global industry which stood at $799 Bn in 2012 is expected to grow at 4% per year till 2018. We all know that this industry creates the much needed competitive advantage that helps the growth of exports that we witness today. Thanks to President Rajapaksa exports vision we continue to record strong exports. In September 2014 exports rose to US dollars 903 million. We cannot easily identify the industry’s own growth numbers, but still at least one segment, the print based industry, consists of strong value inputs from packaging industry, he added.
I am pleased to say that in 2009-2013 Sri Lanka’s print based exports have increased by a strong 25% to $ 101 Mn. I am also pleased to say that even my Ministry has increased support to the packaging sector. During 2013 and this year we have spent more than $42000 to assist this sector, the Minister further stated.
Addressing the event, Tom Schneider the President of the World Packaging Organisation said: “There’s a new era in packaging. Packaging today is about cleaner water, and safer food-its about effective commerce. For the next several decades, the priority will be rapidly providing safe food for world markets. Packaging and the technology behind it has become a strategic tool to maximise the effective use with minimal amount of packaging. Sustainability in packaging is no longer a mere idea. Many tech innovations have been driven by packaging sector. The mission of WPO is greater quality of life through packaging.”
Global packaging experts and resource persons from Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Turkey and Sri Lanka, were making presentations at 20 November event.