Sri Lankan government recommences operations of abandoned paper mill in the East
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Small and Medium Business and Enterprise Development, Industries and Supply Chain Management is reportedly engaged in a programme to recommence operations of the abandoned Valaichchenai Paper Mill in the country’s Eastern Province in order to supply the domestic requirement as well as to explore value additions for the export market.
The test run to open the factory was carried out recently under the patronage of Minister of Small and Medium Business and Enterprise Development, Industries and Supply Chain Management, Wimal Weerawansa.
The state-owned National Paper Company, which was built in 1952 with German assistance, had helped Sri Lanka to be self-sufficient in paper until 1992 when the LTTE had bombed the factory forcing it to shut down.
Minister Weerawansa during a visit to the factory has reportedly said that there are over 350 acres, eight buildings and aging machinery as assets.
“We have already obtained Indian technical assistance and have successfully done a test run and the first ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ paper would be available in August,” he has said.
According to the Minister, the government bears a huge cost for importing paper products and once production is in full force at the factory, Sri Lanka would be able to save millions of dollars.
The government expects the fully operational Valaichchenai Paper Mill to provide over direct 400 employment and help to create new business opportunities to the youth in the area.
The recommencement of work at the paper mill have many advantages for the country. While it will address the country’s paper requirements it would also help the formation of several new industries where paper based value added products could be sent to the export markets. Therefore the paper mill and it’s restart would bring definite financial benefits to the country. Foreign businesses/investors could explore opportunities in investing in the paper mill through a partnership with the government or invest in the setting up of businesses related to it targeting the local and international markets. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, the ease of doing business environment and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country makes Sri Lankan products more competitive in the global market.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/20200609/Z_2|