EU asks Sri Lankan ceramic manufacturers to make personalized products for the European market
Deputy Head of Politics and Trade, Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka, Roshan Lyman has reportedly called on Sri Lankan ceramic manufacturers to consider making personalised products since they are now increasingly in demand overseas.
“European consumers are moving more towards personalised products which Sri Lanka can provide,” Lyman has been quoted in the local media as saying.
“China can’t do that.”
He has told the Sri Lanka Ceramic and Glass Symposium 2018 recently that personalized products were a small but growing market.
European demand for dinnerware has fallen in 2013 and as a result many European firms in the manufacturing business had closed down which created an opportunity for Sri Lankan firms to fill the gap.
By 2015 the market recovery had started and Europe now imports 50 percent from outside the EU, Lyman said.
“The European market needs a lot of storytelling. They need to have a history behind the product. Sri Lankan has an opportunity to go that way because in the mass market China is the leader, so it is difficult to compete with them.”
According to reports, the EU imported 1.8 billion euro worth of dinnerware in 2016, half from developing countries with Germany’s imports at 350 million euro and the UK’s at 265 million euro.
China has 41% of the EU market for dinnerware.
Lyman has stated that an area where Sri Lankan exporters can look at is personalised design, such as family logos or shields buyers want on their dinnerware.
“European buyers just does not look only at price but how the product is made, the sustainability part, environmental and social sustainability norms,” Lyman has further noted.
The statement by the EU official has provided an opportunity for local ceramics manufacturers to consider making certain modifications to their existing product lines in order to improve its export market overseas, especially in the EU region. Sri Lankan manufacturers are also benefited by the EU’s GSP Plus trade concessions, which could help them become competitive in the foreign market.
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