A delegation consisting of 5 senior officials of the European Commission visited the Katunayake Export Processing Zone recently in connection to Sri Lanka’s GSP + status. The delegation consisting of Mr.Thorsten Bargfrede, Charged’ Affaires and Head of Political, Trade and Communication Section, Mr.Walter Van Hattum, Coordinator GSP Trade Preferences, Trade and Sustainable Development, Mr. Nikolaos Zaimis, Adviser, Trade and Sustainable Development, Ms. Elina Laurinen, Senior Trade Expert, South and South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Directorate General of Trade and Mr.Rudi Delarue, Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate General for Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion, Labour Mobility, International Issues, European Commission.
The visit was coordinated by Ms.Harshini Halangode, Programme Manager, Cooperation Section, Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in Colombo with Ms. Nilupul de Silva, Director (Promotion), Mr. Dilip S Samarasinghe, Director (Media & Publicity) and Ms. Himali Urugodawatte, Director (Legal – Industrial Relations) of the BOI and Mrs. Ruvini Weerasekera, Assistant Director (Media & Publicity) and Mr. Sujith Kodithuwakku, Administrative Officer (Media & Publicity).
The delegation was welcomed by the BOI officials of the KEPZ. Ms. Himali Urugodawatte Director (Legal) – Industrial Relations of the BOI made a detailed presentation on the current status of the Katunayake Export Processing Zone. The presentation featured the development of the KEPZ’s 44 years history with the objective of introducing Sri Lanka’s free trade economy, focusing on foreign direct investment. Further, the role of the Export Processing Zones within the BOI was explained to the visiting delegates. The BOI services which include Investor Services, Environmental, Monitoring and Industrial Relations were also included in the briefing. The presentation also highlighted the smooth operations among the 88 factories with a capacity of 35,000 employees and the welfare services offered at the BOI Zone.
BOI also arranged for the delegation to visit several factories located at KEPZ. The first factory was M/s Flintec Transducers (Pvt) Ltd which is engaged in the manufacture of Sensors used in weighting scales. This company located at KEPZ is a Swedish investment and manufactures advanced components using high technology methods. The Managing Director Mr.Tyronne Wecksinghe provided a very detailed briefing about factory productions whilst also exhibiting very high standards in work conditions, safety and managing of human resources.
This was followed by a visit to the M/s MAS Active Nirmaana Division which is engaged in the manufacture of sportswear and also the designs of sportswear for leading brands. Asst. Manager (Human Resources & Administration) Mr. Asiri Jayasinghe briefed the visiting EU delegation on the Company’s very high standards of industrial relations and in upholding international environmental norms as well as an ecofriendly environment.
The visit helped to underscore Sri Lanka’s and the BOI’s Strong commitment to uphold the highest standards of environment standards industrial relations and ethical and sustainable production.