Exports: New unit CCMD secures first high level triumph enlisting global retailer TESCO
Several Sri Lankan export sectors have suddenly received an unexpected Xmas gift from London. TESCO, world’s third largest retailer and UK’s biggest supermarket chain, is preparing to significantly expand its product sourcing from Sri Lanka, buoyed by the well-focused facilitation of the recently established Consultative Committee on Market Diversification (CCMD).
“We warmly welcome TESCOs to Sri Lanka and commend for expanding its buying interest from us beyond the current levels. We believe TESCO can be a strong partner in our exports expansion. I commend CCMD for its prompt success” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on 05 December, upon learning TESCO’s entry.
• Newcomer CCMD succeeds in cornering world’s third largest retailer to significantly expand in Sri Lanka
• TESCO to actively surpass current $ 100 Mn+ SL buying levels
• Xmas cheers from TESCO for SL’s ceramics, soft toys, plastics, and stationery sectors et al
• New CCMD’s first high level win comes in less than one month of its operations
TESCO PLC is the $ 94 Bn revenued (2011) world’s third largest listed retailer with 6300 stores, 500,000 employees across 14 countries and also UK’s largest supermarket chain commanding more than 30% British market share.
“We are not here to source Sri Lankan apparels or food products of which we are well established already to $ 100 Mn annual purchases. Now we want to go for other Sri Lankan products as well” revealed Mark Kenneth Astley, Haryana based General Manager of Tesco Hardlines, Gurgaon (under Tesco International Sourcing, Hong Kong), on 05 December at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Colombo. Mr Astley was in Colombo with Amit Lal, his Manager, for special direct one-to-one buyer meetings with Sri Lankan exporters, arranged by the Consultative Committee on Market Diversification (CCMD), the new unit recently established to battle the global market downturn and secure new export markets for Sri Lanka exports.
The cross functional unit CCMD which started its work on 16 November is reporting its first high level win with TESCO’s entry in less than a month’s time of its commencement. CCMD is driven by the Department of Commerce (DoC) and is chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. According to DoC sources, Mrs. Sonali Wijeratne, DoC’s own Minister (Commercial) based in London, has reportedly played a commendable role in securing TESCO’s latest entry to Sri Lanka.
“We believe that Sri Lanka can add color to TESCO’s product profile by exploiting our diverse basket” said Anura Siriwardene, Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce addressing Mr Astley. “The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the DoC assure you the maximum support in this process” he stressed.
“We are keen in expanding the Sri Lankan product profile displayed on the shelves of 6300+ TESCO stores across the world, 2900+ of which are in UK. At present, we are thinking of additional GBP £ 15 to 20 Mn ($ 32 Mn) product sourcing from Sri Lanka. Previously, our growth came from UK. But now we see new growth coming from the East –S.Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, China etc as our stores in these markets report more sales, “ Mr Astley revealed
He further added, “Therefore we need to source more products and Sri Lanka is one South Asian country we are now closely studying among 33 new sourcing destinations. In other words, TESCO can be a viable and a promising platform for Sri Lanka’s export market diversification, specially to the East.”
- Asian Tribune -