The International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Department of Commerce (DoC) of Sri Lanka organized a webinar on ‘GSP+ for Enhanced Market Access’ last week. The webinar was primarily aimed at creating a platform for Sri Lankan exporters to better understand ways to increase the utilization of GSP+ concessions in their businesses; specially amidst the stresses of Covid-19 on international trade. The event which attended by over 200 local and overseas participants was conducted within the framework of the European Union (EU) funded EU–Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance project.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) hosted a business-to-business matchmaking event between seven Sri Lankan Information Technology (IT) services and outsourcing companies and 15 Finnish companies, where over 60 virtual meetings were conducted with a focus on IT services outsourcing to Sri Lanka. The event took place through a virtual platform, within the framework of the EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance project funded by the European Union (EU) with ITC as the lead implementing agency.
The Cinnamon Training Academy (CTA), in partnership with the University of Vocational Technology (UNIVOTEC), recently completed a 10-day training-of-trainers (TOT) programme for the cinnamon industry.The training commenced on 4 March 2020 and concluded with the certificate awarding ceremony on 22 September 2020. 20 individuals from various parts of the Island received the qualification to deliver trainings up to Level 4 within the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) framework, which is an internationally recognized vocational certification framework.
Supporting the Government of Sri Lanka in the development of Trade Remedies, ITC conducted on 3-4 December 2019 a training for some 15 lecturers from local universities on the development developing Trade Remedy-related curricula in their respective institutions.
Last Saturday 2 November, 47 participants - including 26 women - from the Central Province Women’s Chamber of Small Industries and Commerce (CPWCIC) attended the Capacity Building Workshop in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The objective of the workshop was to help the development of SMEs by strengthening the capacity of the strategic and operational management of regional chambers.
On 25 September 2019, ITC organized a Seminar on International Trade Agreements: Policy Options for Sri Lanka. The event gathered some 120 participants from the public and private sectors in Sri Lanka for a fruitful discussion on the policy options opened to Sri Lanka for the maximization of its regional and international integration. The main objective of this event was to generate a discussion on the following areas: (1) Key global trade, economic, and governance trends and issues (such as WTO reform, Brexit, the increase in bilateral and regional trade agreements, the rise of global value chains, emerging trade issues, etc.), (2) Analysis of what this will mean to the multilateral trading system in general, and in particular for developing countries, and (3) How Sri Lanka could respond to these emerging global challenges.
ITC and the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka– with the support of the EU and GIZ, organized an awareness-raising event on the step-by-step functionality on September 5 2019, well attended by over 50 participants from the public and private sector. Within the framework of the EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance project, and the GIZ project on enhancing the step-by-step procedures functionality, ITC is assisting the Government of Sri Lanka to comply with one of the transparency provisions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
On 20-21 August, ITC organized a workshop on integrated risk management to build the capacity of 41 participants from border regulatory agencies (BRAs) in Sri Lanka to implement an integrated risk management system. As part of the trade facilitation component of the project, ITC is supporting the strengthening of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) to support the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and to facilitate the informed participation of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the operationalisation of trade facilitation reforms in Sri Lanka.
On 10 August 2019, ITC organized in Badulla, Uva province, and in partnership with the Federation of chambers of Commerce and industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) a training for regional Chambers of Central and Uva Province. The key objective of this training was to strengthen the sustainability and policy advocacy capacity of the regional trade chambers by introducing a new vision, good governance model, backed by a sustainable business model. This training focused on equipping the trade chambers with technical tools that they could use in providing their services to SMEs.
ITC organized on 27 June 2019 a National Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on Sri Lanka's “Legal Framework for the Proposed Data Protection Bill”, which was attended by 95 participants from the public and private sector. The main objective of the PPD was to provide an overview of the proposed legal framework to the stakeholders and to obtain their feedback and comments/ suggestions for improvements of the proposed Data Protection Bill. The "Legal Framework for the proposed Data Protection Bill" seeks to address the needs of Sri Lanka for the protection of personal information, while ensuring rights of natural persons with regard to processing of such information. In doing so, the proposed Bill aims to reconcile data protection with business commercial interests as well as societal needs.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) organized a B2B event with pre-matched meetings in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2019 with the participation of 7 Sri Lankan companies and 20 Swedish companies on outsourcing Digital Services.
From 27 to 31 May 2019, a training on WTO Agreements with focus on Trade Remedy Measures was organized in New Delhi, India, for 10 Sri Lankan officers of the Department of Commerce. The 5-day training was organized jointly with the Indian Institute of Foereign Trade (IFT) and aimed at building the capacity of officers involved in the implementation of the legislation on Anti-Dumping & Countervailing Duties and on Safeguard Measures, passed in 2018.
ITC organized in Colombo, on 3 and 4 April 2019, workshops for National Export Strategy (NES) Advisory Committees and Trade chambers members of Sri Lanka's National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC). The key objective of this workshop was to enhance advisory and advocacy skills of the participants to articulate and justify proposals to influence the public policy reform process aimed at improving the enabling environment for trade development. Through this workshop, participants got exposure to and better understanding of the challenges of policy reform, how to research and develop a policy position, how to prepare compelling arguments, and approaches to negotiation.
The National Public-Private Dialogue on E-commerce platform policy and regulatory issues was held on 2 April 2019 by ITC in partnership with Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). The event gathered some 60 participants from the public and private sector to discuss policy and regulatory issues related to e-commerce platforms.
On 27 and 28 March, Sri Lanka's Department of Commerce (DoC) organized in partnership with ITC a workshop on the EU GSP+ programme in Jaffna for 45 participants, of which 15 women, from the public and private sector. This event was part of a series of regional workshops on the EU GSP+ for Sri Lankan exporters.
Two (2) capacity building programmes of 2 days for regional Chambers of Commerce were organized by ITC in collaboration with Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka for 46 participants from the provinces in the cities of Jaffna and Galle on 25-26 and 28-29 March. The objective of these workshops were improve the capacity of regional chambers to facilitate the development of SMEs.
On 28 February 2019, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) co-hosted an event to launch national quality-related publications with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the national metrology institute of Germany. These publications will contribute to the work of the project to facilitate the strengthening of compliance and quality infrastructure services, which is expected to lead to enhanced international recognition of Sri Lankan National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) institutions.
The Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) organized a conference on Proficiency Testing (PT) and inter-laboratory testing for assessors and laboratories on 26 November attended by 90 participants, followed by a four-day workshop for Proficiency Testing Providers (PTP).
Ms Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director of ITC and an expert in international trade issues, recently visited Sri Lanka to attend the launch of Sri Lanka National Export Strategy (NES) 2018-2022. Speaking to the EDB after the launch, Ms. Gonzalez spoke at length about the role of the ITC on the global stage and in relation to the NES in Sri Lanka, the current economic situation, the direction of the global market, its contribution to the NES strategy, the opportunities for Sri Lanka’s export market, and the SheTrades Initiative.
Legislation on Anti-Dumping & Countervailing Duties and on Safeguard Measures were passed by the Sri Lankan government in March 2018. In response to demands by the Department of Commerce (DoC) to enhance understanding and increase knowledge of trade remedy laws and procedures, the International Trade Centre (ITC) organized video-based training sessions conducted by experts from the Geneva-based Advisory Centre for WTO Law (ACWL) for public and private sector representatives from May to June 2018. This was the first time that a comprehensive training of this nature on trade remedies had been carried out. This training is part of a larger support being provided by ITC with regards to the strengthening of the DoC’s trade remedy unit.
EU – Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance project seeks to build capacities of Sri Lankan IT Outsourcing (ITO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) SMEs to increase their capacity to access regional and EU markets.
EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance Project builds capacities of government officials and exporters in international trade.
More than 30 staff members of the Scientific and Engineering Standards Division of SLSI received training on standards formulation, delivered by UNIDO.
The awareness seminar stimulated dialogue among stakeholders in the processed food and spices value chains and endorsed the application of metrology best practices on and innovative approaches to enhancing quality and food safety to strengthen Sri Lanka’s export competitiveness.
Two workshops delivered by ITC on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) gathered 60 participants from public and private sectors.
The design process of the National Export Strategy was successfully inaugurated on the 6th April 2017 at the 1st National Export Strategy Symposium. The inauguration was graced by the Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, 6 Ministers and 20 Development Partners.