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International support to promote retail industry in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO | Wednesday September 18, 2019 | NewsLanka | Business | by Leonard Michael Perera | Federation of Asia Pacific Retailers Association (FAPRA) is expected to provide Sri Lanka a plethora of benefits in reinventing retail in Sri Lanka through Sri Lanka Retailer’s Association (SLRA). Knowledge sharing, exchange programs for executives, opening of windows for local retailers in other markets, possibilities of joint missions and ventures and understanding trends and retail inventions are some of the possible actions that have been explored. “In quest to build retail excellence in Sri Lanka and to make it a retail hub for shopping, SLRA considers this alliance a great way forward both for the retail industry and country at large” said President SLRA, Sidath Kodikara and Vice president Murali Prakash.

The two executive SLRA members attended the 19th Asia-Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition (APRCE), held in China from September 5 – 7, 2019. ‘New Retail, New Consumption, New Dynamics – Cooperation and Sharing’ was the theme of the exhibition this year.  SLRA was inducted as a full member by the FAPRA Executive Council at this occassion.

Kodikara and Prakash also attended the Heads of Delegation meeting of FAPRA held on September 7.  During this meeting, Sidath Kodikara, introduced Sri Lanka and presented the country report on Sri Lanka retail market. The Sri Lanka retail industry had recorded an encouraging growth of 6.6% CAGR since 2013, and the scale is USD 31 billion which accounts for 1/3 of the National GDP. Retail industry continued its emerging contribution to the nation’s economy and recorded an employment of 1.17 million (14% of Labor market of SL) staff with more than 300,000 in retail outlets. Wholesale and retail trade growth of 4.4% is recorded for year 2019 first quarter.

The FAPRA is the umbrella organisation of 19 retail associations in the Asia-Pacific region, i.e. Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam, has over the years assisted its members to foster closer ties, promote collaboration and exchange knowledge. “SLRA is honored to be the only representation from Sri Lanka and its 20th member” said Sidath Kodikara.

The Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations (FAPRA) was founded in 1983 and fully established in 1989 at the 4th APRCE in Singapore. Since then, it has implemented activities and developed itself with the aim of discussing common issues in the region; promote information exchange and friendship, thereby contributing to the development of commerce and the improvement of retailers’ status in the region.

APRCE is one of the key events organized by FAPRA. The 19th APRCE was visited by more than 4,000 delegates and participants from more than 10 countries, whilst the next APRCE will be held in Indonesia in year 2021.

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