HNB and 27TH Lane Business Hub to introduce Sri Lankan SMEs to German market

~ First local SMEs sponsored to participate at International Green Week (IGW) in Berlin ~ Local delegation to showcase wide variety of organic herbal, agricultural and food products ~ Partnership to include support for SMEs in identifying markets; improving products to export quality Sri Lanka’s most successful retail bank, HNB PLC in partnership with 27th Lane Business Hub (27LBH) will be sponsoring First local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) exporters to visit International Green Week (IGW) in Berlin, Germany. Taking place from 18th to 20th January 2019, the delegation of Sri Lankan SMEs will be provided with an invaluable opportunity to showcase locally manufactured organic products at the prestigious international trade fair, which attracts over 400,000 visitors from approximately 150 countries annually. “Sri Lanka is a nation that is blessed with an astounding variety of locally manufactured products, particularly when it comes to fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and other organic produce. Our SME sector in particular holds great promise however one of the main challenges that these businesses face is that they lack exposure to international markets. “Through our partnership with 27th Lane Business Hub, HNB is working to remove this major obstacle for some of our most promising SME clients. We are confident that this will result in highly rewarding business opportunities, and forge a path that other local enterprises and entrepreneurs will be able to follow,” HNB Deputy General Manager – SME & Midmarket, Jude Fernando said. In previous years visitors to IGW have spent over 50 million Euros at the fair itself, while many are able to form lasting business partnerships. IGW is also one of the most high-profile events in for processors and marketers in agriculture, horticulture and food industries, resulting in further opportunities for international marketing given that 4200 journalists from 65 countries are expected to attend this year’s event. The Sri Lankan delegation at this year’s IGW will be showcasing an extremely diverse range of locally manufactured products including: Moringa, Bees honey, Herbal products, Coconut products, Ayurveda Food Products, Coffee, Tea, Passion fruit desserts and Essential oils. Additionally, the winner of the Wayamba University student competition held on the theme of: “Food trends of the future” will also participate in the IGW and will be sponsored by the Lions club of Berlin- Savigny. The business success rate of participants at the fair is expected to be 80%. The event will include competitions for start-ups in the food industry in addition to the launches of new products and live food preparation demonstrations. 27LBH is a platform designed to support SMEs including providing support for identifying markets in Germany while also rendering further assistance to each business in order to refine quality standards of their products, packaging, certification and marketing. The introduction of Sri Lankan SMEs at IGW 2019 represents the latest in a long series of innovative strategies deployed by HNB to support the SME sector. These include the launch of HNB SME Export Credit, a pioneering new facility specially developed in partnership with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board that is specifically designed to meet the requirements and aspirations of Sri Lanka’s SME sector. As one of the first Sri Lankan banks to enter the sector, HNB has built a reputation as a respected leader promoting the development of the SME sector, for which the bank has continuously won recognition in local and international forums, including being crowned Best SME Bank by Asiamoney Magazine. Photo caption: (Seated – from left) Janath Ilangantileke – Assistant General Manager – Trade & Financial Institutions, HNB; Suneth Wijesinghe- Director, 27th Lane Business Hub; Jude Fernando – Deputy General Manager – SME & Midmarket; Niluka.T.Amarasinghe – Senior Manager- SME Business Development , HNB, together with participants in the International Green Week (IGW)

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