Export Chamber to woo Japanese investors | Sunday Observer

Export Chamber to woo Japanese investors

The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) in partnership with the Certified Management Accountants Forum, has embarked on a program to attract Japanese investors to Sri Lanka capitalising on the shift by global investors from China to other destinations in the region. Over 17 local companies have registered through the chamber to facilitate the move, said NCE Secretary General and CEO? Shiham Marikar.

He said? many local export oriented companies have shown interest in supporting the move. Statistics indicate that Japan invests more money overseas compared to what foreigners invest in Japan and returns on Japan’s large portfolio backed by the savings of corporates are higher than large advanced economies.

On the current status of exports, he said exports have picked up since last month following the three-month lockdown. However, he said with the resurgence of the global pandemic and the country’s? top export markets being closed, exports would be hampered in the coming months. Apparels, a major export sector, have been adversely affected and will not regain momentum until the US, the EU and the UK markets recover.

The NCE commends the efforts of the EDB for initiating the promotion of the digital app, a vital tool to promote export items in the global market.

“We believe social media promotions will be key drivers of export growth,” Marikar said.As a strategy to drive exports, the chamber plans to launch a directory on exporters next month and an online magazine on Sri Lanka’s export brands soon. The magazine will be shared with Sri Lankan missions overseas and? international trade chambers.

“The Chamber encourages its members to diversify products and sectors and cater to niche markets,” he said, adding that the chamber has been working closely with the Export Development Board and other stakeholders since import restrictions were imposed to seek the lifting of restrictions on items needed to make goods for export. While the recent downgrading of the country to a lower income country status is viewed as a negative indicator it is also considered by certain exporters as a blessing in disguise to continue to enjoy? the GSP Plus concessions.

“Exporters need incentives to glide over turbulent times. However, there are mixed views on granting concessions for exports. Concessions should be made good use of to maximise on opportunities to penetrate new market segments and boost foreign exchange earnings,” Marikar said.- LF

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