The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) is collaborating with The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported Partnership for Accelerating Results in Trade, National Expenditure and Revenue (PARTNER) Activity to implement a capacity building programme for Development Officers attached to EDB.
This initiative will train EDB officers to guide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to become global exporters.
The event was held under the patronage of Minister of Trade, Hon. Dr. Bandula Gunawardane, with U.S. Ambassador Teplitz as the guest of honor. Other participants included Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Mr. Suresh de Mel, USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Mission Director Mr. Reed Aeschliman and The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mr. Vish Govindasamy.
Taking part in the event, Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena extended his heartfelt gratitude to USAID supported PARTNER project and The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) for joining EDB to implement this training programme. “I am confident that this development officer training programme will make a significant contribution to strengthen the capacity of small and medium enterprises to enable them to connect to the export value chain and thereby enter the international market”, Minister remarked.
The program will improve the knowledge and skills of up to 300 EDB development officers in trade procedures, export processes, and market access. The officers will help small and medium enterprises, including women-led businesses, develop and achieve export goals and connect with export opportunities. Through this program, local businesses will increase their understanding of trade regulations in Sri Lanka and abroad, and work towards the competitive players in international markets.
“The United States and Sri Lanka share a vision of prosperity, as evidenced by our unparalleled export relationship,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Alaina Teplitz. “For exports to continue to drive growth, small and medium enterprises need to become ‘export-ready’ competitors. This program will help SMEs expand into global markets.”
Signatories of the tripartite Letter of Cooperation to solidify the training program were EDB Chairman Mr. Suresh de Mel, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce CEO and Secretary-General Mr. Manjula de Silva, and USAID PARTNER project Chief of Party Mr. Malith Gunasekara. The training curriculum will be implemented by The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on behalf of EDB and the USAID PARTNER Activity. Sessions will be delivered in Sinhalese and Tamil for Development Officers from all 25 districts.