Nov 08, 2016

Iran backs SL's ornamental fish industry

Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish industry is to be modernized with Iran assistance with the aim of doubling the ornamental fish export earnings to at least Rs. 2.4 billion by next year.

Iran has also agreed to set apart a special quota for Sri Lanka's ornamental fish to that country, Iranian authorities said pointing out that their country is willing to exchange expertise in modernizing the island nation’s ornamental fish industry and provide advice and guidance to enter into the foreign market of ornamental fish.

This assurance was given by Iran to Sri Lanka during Minister Daya Gamage’s two-day tour of Iran recently.

Sri Lanka's ornamental fish production had recorded over 46,000 metric tons in 2009 and this amount has increased to nearly 70,000 metric tons recently. The Ministry expects to earn Rs. 2 billion from the industry in the next two years.

Having 40 regular exporting companies, this country has achieved a 2.7 per cent share of the $400 million global market for these fish with USA,UK, Germany, Japan and France making up the top five markets for local exporters.

Further, new markets for local ornamental fish exporters include Qatar, Iran and Lebanon, three Middle Eastern countries that have increased their demand for Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish for the first time in 2013. Additionally, Sri Lanka explores Switzerland, Spain and Taiwan markets as well.

Some 40 regular export companies in Sri Lanka have successfully taken a 2.7 % share out of the US$ 400 million global market. Sri Lanka exports to more than 40 countries and major buyers include countries such as Argentina, Canada and the USA

The fisheries minister of Iran agreed to provide technical support and advice to develop Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry, and also to create a market in Iran for Sri Lankan fish products.

Iran will send a team to look into investment opportunities after Sri Lanka regains the GSP plus export concession.