The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) Advisory Committee on Ornamental Fish Exports was inaugurated on 12th October, 2021, and the first meeting was held via Zoom under the patronage of Trade Minister Hon. Dr. Bandula Gunawardane.
Addressing the inauguration, the Minister stressed the importance of focusing on non-traditional export sectors such as Ornamental Fish to increase the country’s export income, as the export basket is currently dominated by few commodities. “In the capacity of Trade Minister, I am prepared to listen to the views of the members of the advisory committee, and submit viable proposals to the Cabinet to implement the necessary programmes and activities in order to uplift the Ornamental Fish export sector”, Gunawardane said. He also pledged the fullest cooperation and assistance of the Government to develop the industry during the discussion.
Mr. Sathyendran Wijayapura and Mr. Menaka Dissanaike were unanimously elected as Chairman and Co-Chairman of the EDB Advisory Committee on Ornamental Fish Exports respectively at the occasion. Wijayapura, upon assuming office, remarked that the industry should strive to increase its export earnings to US$ 24 million from US$ 12 million currently and a strong and formidable strategic plan was necessary to accomplish that target. He highlighted inadequacy of flight connections and extremely high freight charges as the major impediments facing the industry at the moment.
EDB Director General Chitranjali Dissanayake, Additional Director General Malani Baddegamage, and officials of the EDB – Export Agriculture division also attended the meeting.
EDB Advisory Committees provide a key platform to inform advisors, policy makers, national institutions, and other relevant stakeholders on the programmes and reforms required to boost specific industries, while at the same time maintaining the overall objective of facilitating the growth of the export sector.