COLOMBO: Sri Lankan rubber technicians will be trained at the Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kerala and 25 Lankan technicians will leave for Kerala for training next month, the Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, said here on Friday.
Bathiudeen told the Third Edition of the Lanka Plast and Rubexpo that lack of skill is a growing problem in the Lankan rubber industry. This is worrying because the rubber industry is important to the island nation. Annually, the Lankan rubber industry, comprising 485 big and small units, consumes about US$ 195 million worth of rubber. Consumption is set to increase with the government having worked out a Master Plan for the rubber sector, he added.
The Minister said that government is playing a major role in the implementation of the Master Plan being a partner in 12 of the 25 projects envisaged by the plan.
Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy High Commissioner of India, Arindam Bagchi, said that if the Sri Lankam rubber industry is to grow ,it has to become part of the world supply chain and in this context mentioned the relevance of the proposed India- Sri Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Bagchi said that an Indian officials’ team will be arriving in Sri Lanka next week to start talks on ETCA with their Lankan counterparts.