SRI LANKA: Government encourages rubber trade facilitation

The government also encourages Research and Development (R &D) efforts by the private sector enabling the acquisition of intellectual properties and patents for new products and processes.

He made these sentiments addressing the Global Rubber Conference 2014 under the theme "Sowing the seeds for a sustainable future”, held in Colombo recently.

Unsteady supply of local natural rubber, no local production of synthetic rubber and rubber chemicals, high cost of energy and imported materials, technology deficiencies, low investment on laboratories and R&D, technological and managerial skill shortages, environmental issues, weak pre-competitive collaboration among stakeholders are some of the growth constraints for the development of the rubber industry.

Sri Lanka is also planning to achieve USD 8,000 million worth of rubber export sales by 2045. In 2010, Sri Lanka had exported USD 173 million worth of raw rubber, whereas, this number has come down to USD 71 million in 2013. In 2010, Sri Lanka exported USD 556 million worth of finished rubber products and this has increased to USD 887 million in 2013.

The government, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, has developed long-term master plan for the industry development with the support of industry stakeholders. It has identified 23 projects, of which 10 programs will address supply side constraints. According to targets set by the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, rubber and rubber product exports is expected to reach USD 3 billion in 2020.

Source: "Daily News”, Colombo; 2 Dec 2014
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)