Sri Lanka’s Small and Medium Businesses to connect Global Value Chains
By: Staff Writer
January 02, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka government is to adopt new strategies and reforms to nourish the participation of Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) in global value chains, not only to prosper but also to make a meaningful contribution to the country’s recovery and reduce the human toll of the crisis.
Global and regional production chains have been a key driver of economic progress in Asia and the Pacific over the past 2 decades.
In Sri Lanka, SMEs comprise more than 75% of enterprises and account for more than 20% of exports, 45% of employment, and 52% of GDP.
Since their businesses are more vulnerable to demand downturn, disrupted fund flow, shrinking financing, high inflation, shortage of raw materials and fuel, as well as talent migration, SMEs will likely suffer disproportionably in the crisis.
Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board (EDB) completed a comprehensive six-week export coaching program aimed at assisting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an export potential, registered under EDB New Exporter Development Program (NEDP).
It is aimed to develop their Export Marketing Plans as the first step in their journey towards becoming export-ready. New Exporter Development Program implemented by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board is aimed at developing export potential of SMEs’ to enter export markets.
The program consisted of three phases. A group of 25 SMEs demonstrating export potential were selected by an internal evaluation panel as the first step of the program.
The second phase involved individual and group training sessions on export marketing planning. A dedicated team of Export Development Board officers, trained by the International Trade Center (ITC) as Export Marketing Plan (EMP) coaches, conducted these informative sessions.
SMEs received guidance from these officers in developing their export marketing plans for a selected product in a target market.
Additionally, there were some knowledge sharing sessions for the SMEs on important aspects on export planning such as packaging development for the export market, marketing and branding, logistics and export documentations with the support of experts from the industry.
The final stage featured an Export Market Pitching program on 5 December 2023 where 17 SMEs presented their export marketing plans, outlining their financial requirement for entry into the international market, such as obtaining market intelligence, quality enhancement, capacity building, packaging development, marketing and branding.
Eventually, Lak Nature International Ltd., Serangreen Holdings Ltd., Saviru Spices and Naturals Ltd., Star Mushroom, Aqua Zone Ornamental Fish Farm Ltd., Cloud Content Marketing Ltd., Jay Ceylon Cinnamon Ltd., Nathuco Brown, Randee Super Food Ltd., and St. Theresa DC Mills Ltd. were selected by the panel as the 10 best export marketing plans.
The winning companies will be assisted by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board to implement their next stage of Export Marketing Plans.