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HomeNewsPresident advocates export-focused strategies for Confectionery Industry growth

President advocates export-focused strategies for Confectionery Industry growth

January 25, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe underscored the imperative for a sustainable economic solution, emphasising the pivotal role of export-oriented strategies in overcoming financial challenges, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

Addressing the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Lanka Confectionary Manufacturers’ Association (LCMA) on January 24 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo, the Sri Lankan President specifically advocated for an increase in exports.

He identified the confectionery industry, with a focus on chocolates, as a sector with substantial potential for international recognition.

Expressing confidence in Sri Lanka’s capability to become a prominent player in the global confectionery industry, the President encouraged local confectioners to broaden their horizons and explore opportunities in international markets.

Drawing attention to the successful global presence of Sri Lankan teas and cinnamon, Wickremesinghe posed the question of when Sri Lanka could achieve similar recognition for chocolates.

He urged the confectionery industry to actively explore and capitalise on the export market for chocolates.

President Wickremesinghe further motivated the confectionery sector to consider intercropping with cocoa, highlighting potential areas for expansion in state plantations such as Matale, Kandy, Mawathagama, and Dodangaslanda.

Additionally, he disclosed plans for collaboration with smallholders and ongoing discussions with the governments of Ghana and Ivory Coast to secure access to cocoa resources.

In addressing economic challenges, President Wickremesinghe acknowledged the ongoing negotiations for an additional 20 years to address the economic crisis. He outlined broader initiatives, including the possibility of leasing state-owned plantations to Sri Lankan companies or those with foreign shareholders for the development of the food industry, including confectionery.

The lands encompass those owned by the Chilaw and Kurunegala Plantation in addition to Elkaduwa with JEDB and SPC. The President also revealed plans for modernising agriculture, enhancing competitiveness through the National Productivity Commission, and upgrading trade agreements with India and Thailand.

Emphasising the need to position Sri Lankan chocolates as a world-class product, comparable to the renowned reputation of the country’s tea and cinnamon, Wickremesinghe’s encouragement aimed to inspire the confectionery industry to pursue global recognition and market presence.

Reflecting on the industry’s history, the President commended its pioneers and highlighted the growth and resilience of the vibrant confectionery sector.

He expressed optimism about the potential for Sri Lankan chocolates to attain global recognition and urged confectioners to explore new markets and actively engage in export activities.

Wickremesinghe acknowledged the limitations for expansion within the country and encouraged looking beyond borders, citing the success of the Kandos factory in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, in 1978.