Sri Lanka’s rubber exports overtake tea sector earnings says minister
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Plantation Ramesh Pathirana has reportedly stated that due to a series of initiatives taken to boost the local rubber sector by the government of Sri Lanka, the segment will soon overtake tea sector earnings.
The Minister had made this observation at the opening of South Asia’s largest tyre factory, Ferentino last week.
According to the Minister, a kilo of RSS No 1 grade which was earlier sold at Rs. 230 per kilo is now fetching Rs. 400 which is encouraging more people to grow rubber.
In addition, there are several new investments made by local industrialists like Nandana Lokuwithana who invested US$ 100 million to open Southeast Asia’s largest tyre manufacturing facility, Ferentino Tyre (Pvt) Limited in Wagawatte Export Processing Zone towards the manufacture of rubber-based products.
The landmark project which is the first and only of its kind in Sri Lanka and the largest such facility in the whole of Southeast Asia manufacturers Passenger Car Radials (PCR) including a specialized category for SUVs, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, trucks, buses and solid tyres combining local talent with sophisticated European technology, the Daily News stated.
Ferentino Tyre is to also invest in a second tyre factory in Hambantota.
Ferentino Tyre and other local tyre manufacturers’ investments will firstly help to reduce the US$ 25 million annual tyre import bill and then bring in more forex revenue from tyre exports, the news report further noted.
“We observed that there was around US$ 1 billion export turnover from rubber-based products last year. These new ventures, an increase of local value addition and more rubber-based products for exports like PPE will soon result in the rubber industry export earnings overtaking the tea sector,” Minister Pathirana has stated.
“We will also offer ‘Rubber Research officials university degrees,” the Minister has added.
Sri Lanka is committed to developing and uplifting the country’s large scale export crops like tea and rubber. As pointed out by the subject minister, the growth in performance by these crops, especially rubber exports, is indicative of the growth potential in Sri Lanka’s export crops. The country’s plantation industry therefore presents many business/investment opportunities, especially in the development and upgrading of facilities and manufacturing processes. Foreign businesses/investors could explore opportunities in Sri Lanka’s plantation industry. The many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country will add to the benefits enjoyed by Sri Lanka’s plantation sector.
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