HNB to provide loans for exporters to attend World Expo 

  • Provides concessional loans with minimal collateral

By Shenal Fernando

The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) has partnered with Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) to assist Sri Lankan exporters in obtaining the necessary funding to attend the “Sri Lanka Export Brands” trade exhibition.

Sri Lanka Export Brands is a trade exhibition organised by the NCE at Expo 2020 Dubai, from 17 to 20 February 2022 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC).

According to NCE Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/Secretary General Shiham Marikar, based on calculations by the NCE, the total cost for an exporter to attend the exhibition would amount to around Rs. 1 million, which includes the fee for the booth, accommodation, and travel expenses.
However, considering the cash flow issues plaguing most exporters, the NCE has entered into a partnership with HNB to support all potential exhibitors by providing loans at concessionary rates and with minimal collateral to cover all event-related expenses.

In addition, according to HNB Deputy General Manager – Wholesale Banking Group Damith Pallewatte, they will be offering two free packages to potential exhibitors who are existing HNB customers.

The booth offered by the NCE at the trade exhibition is a 9 square metre booth which shall cost $ 2,500 for NCE members and $ 2,750 for non-members.

Considering the possibility of high accommodation rates in areas surrounding the Expo 2020 site due to high demand during the exhibition dates, the NCE has entered into an agreement with Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre Hotel, which was chosen due to its location in close proximity to the metro station, which has been identified by NCE as the best mode of transportation from the city to the Expo site. Under the agreement, NCE has obtained attractive rates from the Pullman hotel (superior rooms – single: $ 145, double: $ 170, and triple: $ 195).

The NCE has also entered into a partnership with SriLanka Airlines to offer all potential exhibitors a discounted airfare rate at Rs. 67,500 per pax. The NCE is hoping to engage in further negotiations with the carrier to obtain an additional baggage allowance considering the need of the potential exhibitors to carry their samples.

In addition, the NCE will be collaborating with the event organisers and the Sri Lankan Mission to assist potential exhibitors in obtaining the required letters and co-ordinate in obtaining travel visas to Dubai.

The NCE will also be appointing a logistics service provider, to provide a door-to-door service, who will take the responsibility of picking up the goods of the potential exhibitor from the warehouse, handling customs clearance, and ensuring they reach the site in Dubai on time.

The NCE has also negotiated with DXB Live who are the booth builders to ensure that the booth decor requirements and branding needs of the potential exhibitors are met.

Moreover, if any potential exhibitors wish to sell their goods at the exhibition, the NCE will collaborate with their partners in the UAE to ensure that the necessary paperwork is completed and update the exhibitor on the tax that shall apply on such sales and any other regulatory requirements

Further, all special approvals required for certain special products of exhibitors shall be obtained by the NCE on behalf of the exhibitor.

The NCE, as the chamber representing Sri Lankan exporters, is spearheading this trade exhibition under the banner “Sri Lanka Export Brands” at Expo Dubai 2020 to showcase Sri Lankan export products and services.

The NCE has already commenced a promotional campaign in co-ordination with the Sri Lankan Missions and trade chambers in the Gulf region to create awareness for the event and they will invite potential buyers in those respective countries as well to visit the Sri Lanka Export Brands trade exhibition.

The NCE is confident that this initiative will open up fresh avenues for the country’s exports to reach greater heights by expanding its global market share. Staying true to its greater mission of supporting the country’s export sector, the chamber is encouraging exporters to join this international event to reach new markets and to meet new people of different cultures.