Sept 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka's packaging industry, a critical group of Sri Lankan industry sub-sectors is set to reap bigger gains riding on the surges in e-commerce as well as Indian and Asia-Pacific markets, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen says.
According to the Minister, for the first time, Sri Lanka SMEs are receiving government's direct support for their packaging efforts.
"Asia-Pacific has become the leading market in the global retail e-commerce packaging. This opens new opportunities for Sri Lanka's packaging sector- especially our packaging industries who are looking to enter international markets. I call our industry to use these openings and capitalize on them," Minister Bathiudeen said addressing the launch event of 38th anniversary of the Lankapak exhibition series at BMICH today (September 11).
The Minister noted that Colombo's 38th international industry expo on packaging, paper and printing records the largest local and international industry supplier turnout in recent times.
One the most important industry exhibitions to take place in Colombo, the Lankapak series has been supported by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and focuses on the five P's- Packaging, Processing, Printing, Paper and Plastic.
This year's expo is attended by exhibitors from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and India. 40 Indian companies in these sectors are a key highlight of this event.
"In 2016, 40 companies from all countries took part but this year, it has grown to 87. Also this year almost 38 connected sub-industry sectors are taking part," Minister Bathiudeen noted.
He pointed out that printing and packaging are important elements in branding Sri Lanka to global markets and packaging plays an important role in Sri Lanka's exports.
"As a result international packaging and safety requirements are impacting on our export packaging industry, which innovates on this. Also my Ministry with the Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging has introduced service programs for SME's at regional level for the first time. This is to strengthen SME value chains. As a result, our SMEs have entered the packaging sector. 40 SME industries in the North and East have already been trained under the Packaging Technology Improvement Program in the first stage."
High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu addressing the event stressed of the resilience of Sri Lankan economy. "Within a month I've attended five industry exhibitions here. The number of these exhibitions show the resilience of Sri Lankan economy and its people, which is truly impressive," the High Commissioner said.
"In recent exhibitions here Indian companies far outnumbered companies from other countries due to their large scale. We believe that together we can achieve more. Some believe interdependency is a sign of weakness - but to me it is undoubtedly a sign of strength. Problems in today's world are too complex to be resolved by a single country alone. India's packaging industry is expected to touch US $ 73 Billion by 2020. This creates lots of opportunities for industries of both countries."
According to Morgan Philips, throughout Central & East Asia, South East Asia & Oceania, the Asia-Pacific region packaging market "continues to enjoy strong growth with volume expected to rise by a CAGR of 5% over the 2014-2018." According to Reuters, with the growth of online and internet shopping, the global retail e-commerce packaging market too is growing at a much faster rate-at 5.9%.
State Minister Buddhika Pathirana, President of Asian Packaging Federation Rohan Victoria, Indian PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry representative Rakesh Shangrai, and President of Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging Anuradha Jayasinha were also present at the occasion.