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  • Secretary General/CEO of NCE appointed as a National Consultant by the ITC 

The National Institute of Exports (NIOE) is expanding its professional courses related to international trade to encompass online training facilities for cross border trading among SAARC and EU countries in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva

The National Institute of Exports (NIOE), which is a subsidiary of the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE), conducts professional courses in the vital field of exports for the benefit of employees in export enterprises, entrepreneurs, and students. These courses enable them to enhance their knowledge, improve performance, advance their career prospects and are beneficial to students who wish to make a career in the field of exports. They cover important subjects related to the export/import trade and are conducted at the Certificate, Advanced Certificate and Diploma levels, awarding recognised professional certificates. These courses have been endorsed by Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) in regards to their professional standards.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) which a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO) is fully dedicated to support the internationalisation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The ITC is currently implementing an EU Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance project, funded by the European Union (EU), which aims at increasing the competitiveness of Sri Lankan SMEs in Regional and EU Markets. This project contributes to inclusive trade led growth in Sri Lanka, supporting the competitiveness of SMEs in strategic sectors with high potential for economic development, including spices, fresh and processed foods, information technology and business process outsourcing, as well as textiles and garments.

As a part of the trade facilitation component of this project the ITC has designed an E learning course referred to as the E learning Curriculum to support Sri Lankan enterprises in the spices, fresh and processed foods, and the textiles and garments sectors to comply with cross border procedural and regulatory requirements in respect of export transactions in the EU and regional markets.

The ITC having recognised the quality of services provided by the NIOE for the enhancement of exporting SMEs, has entered in to a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NIOE, which was formally signed on 14 July, marking a significant milestone for the NIOE.

The E curriculum which is delivered online is composed of six modules focusing on regulations and procedures for the export of products related to the identified above sectors. Each module consists of two lectures, one case study, and one forum task, which requires approximately 12 hours of work over a six week period by the participants.

In terms of the course objectives, by the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the rationale behind compliant requirements for exporting out of Sri Lanka
  • Comply with local and export packaging and labelling requirements
  • Evaluate air and sea logistics options ex Sri Lanka 
  • Understand complete export procedures for the export of spices, fresh and processed foods, textiles and garments. 

Three categories of participants will benefit from this E Learning facility. They are 1) Those who are currently employed in export enterprises, 2) Entrepreneurs and Businesses proposing to export their products, and 3) Students who are interested in a career related to exports. The e leaning course will guide them through the acquisition of a comprehensive understanding all export regulations, documentation, as well as freight and logistics requirements the exporters must comply in order to export successfully.

Among the benefits that participants will gain is the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of export procedures without having to be physically away from their work places, since it provides a highly beneficial learning experience at their own convenience. However the requirement is that participants should complete the course within a six week period from the time at which they first login to commence the course. After completion of the course, and the assessments, a professionally recognised certificate will be awarded by the ITC. As such students will be able to benefit when seeking employment due to the added qualification they receive after completion of the course.

The course material related to the six modules has been developed by professionals under the supervision and guidance of an International Consultant appointed by the ITC.

NCE Secretary General/CEO Shiham Marikar has been appointed as the National Consultant related to this project to assist the International Consultant to collect the training needs of SME’s, map out the curriculum, develop the six modules, identify key public and private stakeholders to provide technical inputs for the development of the training modules, collection of information on import/export documents, regulations, and administrative procedures, as well as the identification of tutors with practical experience of import export procedures in Sri Lanka to facilitate the delivery of the E learning facility.   In this regard Mr. Marikar had also undertaken a study visit to Brussels under the auspices of the ITC in September to undergo exposure and learning through interaction with the relevant organisations, related to approaches and procedures for trade facilitation.

Accordingly the e learning course will be facilitated by three tutors who are experienced businessman in the three sectors outlined above for promotion, who will be available full time to guide the participants through the lectures, assist them in their learning process, mark their assessments, and to facilitate forum activities. Furthermore the e learning facility has been endorsed by five successful personalities, two of whom are from the Public Sector and three from the Private Sector in Sri Lanka.

The ITC has also carried out training of the trainers (tutors), to facilitate their duties and responsibilities. Further the ITC has provided training to the secretariat staff of the NIOE to enable them to provide technical assistance when needed.

The first edition of the e learning course will commence in November this year. Over 30 participants have already registered with the NIOE to benefit from this facility. Other prospective participants who have not enrolled as yet to make use of this unique opportunity, still has time to do so.

Under the EU trade facilitation project, the NIOE is also in the process of implementing a separate program to conduct training workshops and seminars, utilising the services of qualified and experienced professionals, covering specialised topics related to overall trade facilitation. In this regard the NIOE has already conducted the first training seminar, which has been well received by participants. Further training seminars on relevant topics will continue to be conducted under the program.