Federation of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka

Capacity Building of SMEs for Exports – Partnership Agreement of FCCISL with CBI

A CBI mission consist of Ms. Minke Vorstenbosh – Team Coordinator Unit Asia and Eastern Europe, Mr. Peter Van Gilst – Team Coordinator Unit Africa, Ms. Marieke de Ruyter de Widt –Researcher sustainable supply chain development,-Agricultural Economics Research Institute LEI Wageningen UR visited FCCISL recently to conduct an internal evaluation of the different services CBI offers. Mr.Tissa Jayaweera, President, FCCISL welcomed the CBI mission & participated in the discussions with Secretary General and a few Senior Officers of FCCISL.

The Federation of chambers of commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) entered into a partnership agreement with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) of Netherlands in June 2007 to facilitate the export capacity of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from Sri Lanka to the European Union (EU).

During the discussion the FCCISL officials explained that under this partnership agreement the FCCISL with the assistance of CBI implemented several programs successfully in the past few years such as Export Coaching Program through which seven officers of FCCISL were trained in Netherlands & Sri Lanka, Export Marketing & Management Program, Acquisition & dissemination of export related information, Strategic Planning Workshop conducted in August & December 2010 etc. Establishment of Central Province Exporters’ Chamber is also an outcome of the CBI program. The President said the FCCISL submitted this comprehensive program during the conflict period in the country and we would have derived more benefits if a similar proposal was made and implemented in the current context.

The FCCISL in collaboration with Regional Chambers organize programs particularly for the benefit of SMEs. Assistance from other donor agencies in countries like Norway & Sweden is coming with direct financial assistance for the SMEs. FCCISL emphasized the need of having CBI support too including financial support for activities such export oriented clustering, assistance to train local consultant for SME related programs, assistance to SMEs to participate in seminars & workshops etc.

During the subsequent meeting held at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Colombo to present the preliminary result of the CBI mission it was reported that is good to here in general CBI is doing a good and highly appreciated job, but they are thankful to FCCISL for making some valuable recommendation for them in order to further improve their services and complimentarily to other organization.

The FCCISL with the assistant of CBI, Netherlands and in collaboration with Sri Lanka Export Development Board is planning to conduct four programs for exporters & potential exporters in the Southern Region (Galle) in March, in the Central Region (Kandy) in June, Eastern Region (Trincomalee) in September and Northern Region (Jaffna) in December 2011.

The first program in Southern Region (Galle) will be conducted on March 03rd 2011 by CBI consultants on latest development in quality and production requirement in the EU market (including specific sector information) and accessing trade information /statistical data and trade portals.