EDB finalizes USAID-funded strategic plan with MTI

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The Export Development Board (EDB) aims at achieving a revenue of US $ 20 billion by 2020. There is a need to formulate a new plan as the present strategic export plan ends in 2015, EDB Chairman Bandula Egodage told members of the project team set up to formulate a new EDB corporate and strategic plan with the assistance of USAID VEGA Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka (VEGA FEG SL) Project, at the EDB auditorium recently.

A team headed by Hilmy Cader of Bahrain-based MTI Consulting was selected by VEGA FEG Project for the consultancy, with the concurrence of Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen.

MTI Consulting was previously awarded Pakistan’s Export Reforms Consulting Project by the Government of Pakistan in January 2008. According to MTI, CEO Cader, it has more than 510 client engagements with operations across Asia and the Middle East and networks across America, Africa and Europe.

Cader hopes to complete the EDB process mapping and present a blueprint by August, provided the operating conditions and environment remains unchanged. According to EDB sources, Sri Lanka’s 2013 annual exports stood at US $ 11.1 billion, compared to US $10.4 in 2012, an increase of 6.7%.

“Today we are launching the first step of EDB’s strategic plan which aims at achieving a revenue of US $ 20 billion by 2020. Hilmy’s experience and expertise will definitely enhance the process of the EDB in a positive way,” said Egodage.

“Although our national target is a revenue of US $ 20 billion by 2020, there is a big mismatch – our present export strategic plan ends in 2015 and there is a strategy gap from 2015-2020. This initiative is to bridge the gap by drawing a plan till 2020 and complete this in a professional and a focused way,” he said.

Cader said, “Synergy is most important otherwise the strategic plan will end up in a filing cabinet. The EDB performs a key role in the country’s national profit and loss account. Exports are the lifeblood of the country. We have great products and can achieve more with enhanced marketing.”

“Our exercise is to provide strategic direction for the EDB to increase the country’s exports to US $ 20 billion by 2020 and contribute to the government’s development objective,” he said.

“In this regard, value addition is absolutely crucial and we need to have supply chains in place. MTI will use its ‘Analyse, Strategise, Realise’ methods to map the export strategy.

Sri Lanka’s export levels are dependent on derived demand. The usual export activities or strategy of the country will not help achieve the US $20 billion goal,” Cader said. “We need to think outside the box to perform the second action and play some master strokes. The strategy needs to be flexible and the EDB structure too needs to be flexible.

This exercise we will not be limited to the EDB only. It will involve a wider section of stakeholders including exporters, various business chambers, government and non-government institutions and foreign trade missions,” he said.

“When the strategy is finalised, MTI will also play the role of ‘imple-mentoring’ rather than ‘implementing’. This needs to be distinguished from mere implementing of the finalised strategy,” the MTI CEO said.

MTI Consulting is an internationally-networked boutique management consultancy, offering advisory services in Strategy, Strategic Planning, Corporate Re-structuring, Process Re-engineering, Performance Management, International Market Entry, Feasibility Studies, Due Diligence, Corporate Finance, M&A, HR, Executive Search / Head Hunting, Marketing Strategy, Branding and Market Research.

Since the inception in 1997, MTI has worked on over 520 assignments in over 43 countries, covering a diverse range of industries, clients and business challenges.

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