May 18, Colombo: The UAE based retail giant LuLu Group on Wednesday inaugurated it state-of-the-art food processing and export unit that will source high quality products from Sri Lanka and export to its large chain of hypermarkets in Middle East and other countries.
Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake opened the Lulu incorporated Y.A.S. Lanka Pvt. Ltd., a Board of Investment (BOI) company at the Export Processing Zone at Katunayake.
Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake, State Enterprise Development Minister Eran Wickramaratne, and Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake participated in the inauguration ceremony along with Lulu Group Managing Director Yusuff Ali.
Situated near the International Airport in Katunayake, the state-of-the-art facility will primarily focus on sourcing, processing, storing, packaging and exporting of fruits, vegetables and commodities from Sri Lanka to various Lulu operations around the world.
At the event, Lulu Group Managing Director Yusuff Ali said it is the company's ongoing strategy to set up its own sourcing & food processing units around the world to ensure uninterrupted supply and ensure competitive pricing by eliminating middle men.
"Sri Lanka has a vast variety of fruits, vegetables and various commodities and we are working closely with the ministry of Southern Development and Govt. of Sri Lanka to boost the export of these. Already we are exporting almost US$ 5 million worth of Fruits, vegetables and commodities, which is expected to go up to $ 10 million by the end of first year," Mr. Yusuff Ali said.
"Initially we have invested $ 20 million in this facility, and soon we intend to venture into retail sector with a world-class shopping mall and modern hypermarket in Colombo," Mr. Yusuff Ali said.
The company in Sri Lanka will provide direct employment to over 200 people.
Lulu Currently operates 134 hypermarkets in 10 countries in Gulf countries, Egypt, Indian and the Far East and employs over 40,000 people.
Engaged in multiple business operations inclusive of imports and exports, trading, shipping, IT, travel and tourism as well as education, the group records an annual turnover of US$ 6.9 billion and commands a retail market share of 32 percent in the region.