ComBank conducts awareness programme to make entrepreneurs export-ready

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently conducted an awareness programme for 110 micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in the food and beverage sector, to equip them with the knowledge necessary to develop their businesses to enter the export market.

The Bank identified entrepreneurs with the potential to succeed as exporters to participate in this ‘Diribala Exporter Development Programme’ named after the Bank’s flexible Diribala Development Loans scheme designed to cater to the requirements of small and medium scale agricultural, industrial, and business ventures. This programme was not limited to existing customers of Commercial Bank and half of the participants were introduced by the Industrial Development Board (IDB).

The programme represents the commencement of a series of initiatives planned to promote small and medium enterprises, encourage exporters, and develop the local export sector, the Bank said. With the awareness programme, the Bank’s goal was to identify local manufacturers who are potential exporters and educate them to produce goods in accordance with standards necessary to penetrate international markets, and to promote local producers to become indirect exporters or suppliers to direct exporters.

Besides preparing local MSMEs to be export-ready and strengthening the value chains of export-oriented enterprises, these initiatives are also aimed at improving foreign exchange earnings which is a dire need for the country, the Bank said. Resource persons for the programme were from the Industrial Development Board (IDB), Export Development Board (EDB), National Plant Quarantine Service of the Department of Agriculture and Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI).

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