Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA) delegation met with Mr. Mano Tittawella – Senior Advisor, Ministry of Finance & Media to discuss initiatives in creating new jobs and employment opportunities from the Organized Retail industry through its membership comprising of top local corporates entities towards partnering and supporting the Governments’ one million new jobs under its ‘Three Year Economic Delivery Programme’.
SLRA is developing budget proposals to design retail focus professional courses and vocational training complemented with government grants as a public – private partnership, and to support Government initiative in creating new jobs and employment opportunities in the Retail sector. The SLRA is planning to initiate a Future Retail Professional Programme with NVQ certificate through the Retail Academy. The programme includes a 3 month certificate course, a 6 month diploma course, along with a 1 year internship for school leavers across the country. The project aims to attract the young generation and produce more professionals in the retail industry.
Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) granted Rs 50 Million in the National Budget 2017 to conduct the first ever Colombo International Shopping Festival (CISF) and the Implementation of the VAT refund system for Foreign Tourists. This VAT Refund System, that is to be implemented in June, follows proposals that were initiated by the SLRA and creates a stepping stone to make Sri Lanka a retail hub and an attractive shopping destination in the Southeast Asian region.
The Sri Lankan Retail sector, estimated at USD 31 Bn., is the single largest contributor to the National Economy’s GDP of USD 81 Bn. (2016). The SLRA, with the mission of being the ‘Voice of Retail’ of the industry and being the only apex body for Organized Retail, will play a key role in developing and growing this sector in the coming years.
The collaboration between SLRA and the Government in Public-Private Partnership will ensue in realizing the potential of the Retail industry towards National economic growth and development of the country.