Business News: People’s Bank held a discussion with the Spices and Allied Products Producers’ and Traders Association (SAPPTA) with the aim of creating tailor-made financial solutions to boost spice exports.
The discussion, held at the Colombo Chamber of Commerce recently, was attended by the Chairman of SAPPTA Romesh Jayasuriya, official members of the association, People’s Bank Chairman Sujeewa Rajapakse, Chief Executive Officer / General Manager Ranjith Kodituwakku, General Manager (Enterprise Banking) Krishani Narangoda and Assistant General Manager (Small & Medium Enterprises) Wickrama Narayana.
With the objective of supporting the Government’s efforts to create a self-sufficient nation, People’s Bank introduced the Aswenna loan scheme, a unique product launched to enhance industries such as agriculture, fisheries, livestock development, small rice mills, horticulture, dairy milk production and several others. Under the leadership of His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Government has made it a priority to promote Sri Lankan herbs and spices in the export market as there is significant potential to earn valuable foreign exchange while also boosting the country’s Agriculture industry.
Having received a positive response from the Agro-based industries for the Aswenna loan scheme, People’s Bank is making efforts to expand it by entering into strategic collaborations with other stakeholders in the industry, such as the agro value chain. Accordingly, spice industry which consists of a number of stakeholders such as smallholder farmers, collectors, processors and exporters will be able to benefit from tailor-made financial solutions from People’s Bank.
During the discussion, the People’s Bank team presented to SAPPTA officials about the available financial solutions of the Bank while the SAPPTA officials provided in-depth information about the value chains of the spice industry. Having understood the potential of various categories of spices which can be promoted internationally, both parties decided to initially focus on financial solutions that will boost pepper exports. People’s Bank will aim to develop a tailor-made financial solution which will improve the efficiency of the value chain while improving the product quality and ensuring a price that is competitive internationally. Subsequently, the financial solutions will be expanded to other spices that have higher export potential. The Bank is making every possible effort to introduce new products that will move away from traditional methods of financing to ensure greater flexibility and convenience to the borrowers when meeting financial requirements.