Image : McKay Savage https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
The economic vision of the Sri Lankan government stresses value chain development, enlisting women and youth for manufacturing, and enlisting rural producers towards exports. As part of its “Vision 2025” agenda announced in 2016, the government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe aims to create one million new jobs and double the value of merchandise exports by 2020.
These ambitious targets are closely linked to continued progress with the establishment of a system of standards, codes and agreements to ensure that national production delivers goods that meet the requirements of the international market.
In the words of the country’s Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, “As the Government focuses on a $23bn export target by 2020, the need to enhance global market access by overcoming border rejections, delays in conformity assessment, higher testing costs for the private sector and risk management associated to border operations and e-commerce, is now experienced more and more.”
Bathiudeen was speaking at a recent event in the capital, Colombo, to raise awareness of the importance of quality infrastructure. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), quality infrastructure is "the system comprising the organizations (public and private) together with the policies, relevant legal and regulatory framework, and practices needed to support and enhance the quality, safety and environmental soundness of goods, services and processes.”