Sri Lankan SME products receive attention of Vietnamese in Hanoi
Daily FT: The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Vietnam, in coordination with the Industrial Development Board (IDB), organized a “Sri Lankan Fair” to promote the products of SME entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka to the vast middle-income market of Vietnam. The two-day Sri Lankan Fair was attended by a large number of Vietnamese nationals, foreign nationals based in Hanoi, senior government and corporate personalities, media and the diplomatic corps amongst others.
The Sri Lankan fair was held at the Chancery of the Embassy of Sri Lanka. It consisted of nearly 10 SME companies ranging from wooden and ornamental products, traditional Sri Lankan masks and paintings, batik and handmade garments, decorative household items, hand-made silver jewelry and gemstones, soft toys, exclusive wooden carvings, herbal tea and spices and brassware, amongst others. The two-day event was enriched by serving and selling authentic Sri Lankan food, which were prepared at the premises itself as well as serving traditional hallmark Ceylon tea by Dilma based in Hanoi.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Vietnam Prof A. Saj U. Mendis, in his opening remarks stated that the SMEs are often considered as a backbone of any given economy. He further added that these sentiments were true in the context of Sri Lanka as well. Prof Mendis further stated that the SME sector contributes approximately 50% of the GDP and employs over 60% of the working population.
He added that the primary economic pivot of any given nation was to intensely focus on facilitating the SMEs, thus enabling them to advance to become mid-sized companies to large companies. Ambassador Mendis added that today some of the largest corporations of the world had most humbling beginnings often in college dorms and garages.
The Director of the Department of Industry and Trade also addressed the opening ceremony and stated that the Department in Vietnam would support the SME entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka as well as expressed optimistic and encouraging sentiments.
Over 15 Sri Lankan SME entrepreneurs who visited Hanoi were arranged to visit and interact with Bat Trang ceramic pottery village, wood craft village and Vietnam Association of Gemstones in order to forge long-term business and commercial relations, thus enabling the export of the Sri Lankan products to Viet Nam. Further, the embassy organized a number of B2B meetings for the Sri Lankan entrepreneurs/SMEs to promote their respective commercial entities.
Most of the SME entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka initiated and reached upon commercial arrangements with Vietnamese counterpart companies. This particular commercial initiative did enhance the profile and image of the country amongst the Vietnamese and other foreign nationals in Hanoi.
Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and export sectors have shown a steady growth through the years even amidst challenging economic conditions faced by the country in the past few years. It is indicative of the resilience of the country’s private sector as well as Sri Lanka’s overall economy. The government of Sri Lanka is also focused on further developing and expanding the country’s manufacturing and export sectors by offering incentive schemes to attract further investments to these sectors. The many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped boost Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and export sectors. Local export authorities are also engaged in promotional campaigns in foreign markets including new ones to promote local products while also encouraging local manufacturers to diversify and expand their product portfolio. The expansion in the manufacturing and export sectors present lucrative business/investment opportunities given the growing business potential in these sectors. Foreign businesses/investors while exploring the expanding opportunities could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses engaged in the manufacturing and export sectors with the aim of further expansion.
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