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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2673

Lanka dives head-first into $20B target

Colombo, 08 July, (

A determined Sri Lanka has dived head-first into achieving its $ 20 B export target by 2020 on 01 July and tasked an international consultancy firm to produce an initial way forward blueprint -as early as this August.

“Today we are launching the first step of EDB’s Strategic Plan creation which aims to achieve $ 20 Bn by 2020. We all know that our national target is $ 20 Bn by 2020 but there is a big mismatch-our current export strategic plan ends in 2015 and there is a strategy from 2015-2020” said a resolute Bandula Egodage (Chairman/CEO of EDB) on 01 July in Colombo.

EDB’s Egodage was addressing the project kick-off team meeting of the formulation of latest EDB Corporate Plan/Strategic Plan with the assistance of USAID VEGA Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka (VEGA FEG SL) Project, held at EDB Auditorium on 01 July. Also present on the occasion were the selected consultancy team of Bahrain based MTI Consulting led by its CEO Hilmy Cader, Sujatha Weerakoone (DG-EDB), Dr Yousuf Maraikkar (ED-EDB), and various Directors and top personnel of export product sectors as well many heads of EDB Departments. EDB, realising the need for the service of a Consultant who is highly knowledgeable and well conversant with the export development process to formulate its Corporate Plan/Strategic Plan, sought the support of USAID VEGA Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka Project (VEGA FEG SL). USAID agreed to provide technical and financial assistance to formulate the Corporate Plan/Strategic Plan 2015-2020 for the EDB. Accordingly, with the concurrence of the Minister of Industry & Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and the EDB, the team headed by Hilmy Cader from Bahrain based MTI Consulting was selected by VEGA FEG Project for the consultancy.

The consultancy fee is to be borne by the VEGA-FEG SL Project of USAID. It was the project kick-off team meeting that EDB Chairman Egodage was addressing on 01 July.

• Bahrain’s MTI clinches Lanka exports consultancy
• ‘Time to expand the current strategy’ – EDB’s Egodage
• ‘Dual Action with our own methodology for $ 20Bn’-MTIs Cader
• On the cards: Widest export stakeholder mapping ever
• ‘Not usual action but play masterstrokes for $20B’-Bahrain’s MTI
• ‘Thanks VEGA USAID!’ - EDB’s Egodage

MTI Consulting was previously awarded Paksitan’s Export Reforms Consulting Project by the Government of Pakistan in January 2008. According to MTI CEO Cader, the international management consultancy MTI has more than 510 client engagements with operations across Asia & the Middle East and networked across the Americas, Africa and Europe. MTI CEO Cader aims to complete the EDB process mapping and come up with a blueprint by August 2014 provided the operating conditions and environments stay unchanged.

According to the EDB, Sri Lanka’s 2013 annual exports stood at $ 11.1 Bn, rising by 6.7% from 2012’s $10.4 Bn.

“Today we are launching the first step of EDB’s Strategic Plan creation which aims to achieve $ 20 Bn by 2020. Hilmy’s enormous experience and expertise will definitely enhance the total process of EDB in a positive way” said Bandula Egodage (Chairman/CEO, EDB) addressing the session. “We also thank VEGA USAID for the contribution towards this initiative. We all know that our national target is $ 20 Bn by 2020 but there is a big mismatch-our current export strategic plan ends in 2015 and there is a strategy gap from 2015-2020; We are launching today’s initiative to bridge this gap and draw the plan till 2020 to complete this in a professional and a focused way.”

Addressing the kick off, MTI CEO Cader said: “Synergy is most important else the strategic plan will end up in yet another filing cabinet. EDB is performing a key role in the country’s national profit and loss account-in that, by taking on the challenging ‘income side’ of it. Exports are the lifeblood of the country. We have great products and with enhanced marketing, we can achieve more. The objective of our exercise is to provide the strategic direction for EDB to increase country’s exports value to $ 20 Bn by 2020 and contribute to achieve the government’s development objective. In this regard, value addition is absolutely crucial and for that we need to have the supply chains in place. MTI will be using its “Analyse, Strategise, Realise” methodology to map the export strategy-we need to remember that Sri Lanka’s export levels are dependent on derived demand. Therefore towards achieving the $ 20 Bn target, there are two key actions that EDB has to take-first being the safeguarding of the current export levels of $ 11 Bn and then the other action being, to go to $ 20 Bn from this $ 11 Bn level. The usual export activities or strategy of the country will not help achieve the existing gap of $ 9 Bn towards $20 Bn goal. We need to think outside the box to perform the second action, and here we have to play some masterstrokes-Remember, without master strokes, no new volumes. The strategy needs to be flexible-and for that, the EDB structure too needs to be flexible. In this exercise we will not be limited to EDB only-it will involve a wider section of stakeholders including exporters themselves, various Business Chambers, government and non-government institutions, and foreign trade missions. When the strategy is finalised, MTI will also play the role of “imple-mentoring” rather than “implementing”-in that, the handholding aspect. This needs to be distinguished from mere implementing of the finalised strategy.”

- Asian Tribune -

Hilmy Cader (CEO-MTI Consulting) addresses the EDB project kick-off team meeting in Colombo on 01 July
Seated front row from left: Tuan Jamaldeen (Chief of Party at USAID VEGA Project), Dr Yusuf Maraikkar (ED-EDB), Sujatha Weerakoone (DG-EDB), and Bandula Egodage (Chairman/CEO-EDB) beam with optimism at the 01 July EDB project kick-off team meeting in Colombo.
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