“I advise you to attract private and public consultants in this and create a working model for us to move forward and boost Hon Prime Minister’s industrial plans” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen recently at a special industry planning session of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MI&C).
Joining the session were top advisors to Minister Bathiudeen as well as the State Minister of Industry and Commerce Champika Premadasa and Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce TMKB Thennakoon.
A total of 2275 industries of all scales have been registered (cumulative) under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce across all parts of Sri Lanka by end-2015. Almost all these were domestic investments and non-BoI. Within the 2275 are industries located in 30 industrial zones of the Ministry across 18 districts, employing 17000. Another set of industries (within the 2275 total industries) are in the 19 Industrial Estates under the Industrial Development Board (IDB) of the Ministry, employing another 6500.
“Today I am appointing a special team headed by State Minister of Industry and Commerce Champika Premadasa to assess all the industrial zones under this Ministry and come up with a five year master plan for Sri Lankan industrial zone development that has the capacity to readily serve Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s economic and industry reform vision. The team will also include my Ministry Secretary TMKB Thennakoon and my industry advisors. We are going to enhance support to our manufacturing sector to increase their productivity levels and our assessments will show the present health of the manufacturing sector coming under us” said Minister Bathiudeen,
The Minister added, "The model we are looking is Public Private Partnership model. I advise you to attract private, public and regional consultants in this and create a working model for us to move forward and boost Hon Prime Minister’s industrial reforms. Though such sectors as food and beverages have a larger contribution to our manufacturing, critical industries for the development of the industrial economy -such as basic metal products and minerals-are still low in contribution. These sub-sectors too are essential for development of our manufacturing so that it is globally competitive. Today I instruct you to include youth and the University system so that employment and R&D aspects are integrated. More than 80% of industries registered under our Ministry are located in the Western Province and it is time we get the regions as well. As part of regional industrial development efforts, together with the Industrial Development Board (IDB) under us, we shall formulate frequent District Industrial Exhibitions so that industry awareness is created across the country.”
Minister Bathiudeen also instructed the advisory team headed by Minister Premadasa to prepare a special presentation by April, based on their study. This special presentation is to be made to Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Cabinet of Ministers for their input.
Of the 2275 Lankan industries registered by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to-date, 86% (1968) are located in the Western Province. The MI&C believes that the actual number industries operating in Sri Lanka exceeds the registered total of 2275. Of all the registered industries, 21% are in apparel and textile, 15% in food and beverages, 17% in fabricated metal products, 5% in non-metallic minerals, and 2.5% in basic metal product sector.