The International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Department of Commerce (DoC) and the Regional Chambers of Commerce are conducting a series of workshops focusing on the Trade Procedures Functionality and Export Services Available to Sri Lankan SMEs. The workshops are organized within the framework of the ‘Trade Facilitation for SMEs in Sri Lanka’ project implemented by ITC and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with the financial support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The workshops which will roll out in multiple regions across the country from 31 August will raise awareness on the Step-by-Step Functionality of the Sri Lanka Trade Information Portal (stepbysteptrade.lk) which maps the export, import and transit procedures of 60 priority products.
The programme will also discuss other initiatives undertaken by ITC in partnership with agencies such as DoC, Export Development Board (EDB) and the National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) for the simplification and streamlining of trade procedures by digitizing key processes as well as by harmonizing and reducing the requirement for documentation.
Moreover, the sessions will introduce participants to the newly developed Electronic Certificate of Origin (eCoO) system. Certificates of Origin enable traders to enter international markets duty free or under concessionary duty rates by certifying that products comply with applicable rules of origin criteria. The workshops will shed more light to the new automated system which enables the submission of applications and supporting information online, enables online payments and issues electronic certificates and eliminates the need to physically visit relevant entities for these purposes.
Additionally, the events will provide an opportunity for SMEs based in the regions to meet officers from trade support agencies such as the Export Development Board (EDB), Industrial Development Board (IDB) and National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA), and to hear from them about the services offered to current and potential exporters. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the regional chambers will share the programmes available to the local businesses helping them to effectively navigate the challenges they face when exporting to foreign markets.
The sessions also hope to highlight the concept of Green Economy and its implications for local exporters following the surge in demand for green products in international markets which present valuable opportunities for developing countries like Sri Lanka.
The workshops will be held in Anuradhapura on 31 August, Gampaha on 08 September, Trincomalee on 13 September, Jaffna on 29 September and Kandy in October. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on our Facebook page facebook.com/TradeFacilitationforSMEsinSriLanka to register or for more details.