- Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa says online portal will be a springboard for local craft to access international markets
- Opines product with a story has better demand
- Affirms sustainability of tourism and crafts sectors key
In a bid to support Sri Lanka’s artisans to conquer international markets, the Industries Ministry last week launched lakshilpa.com.
The main objective of the website is to empower the craftsmen spread across the country by giving the utmost worth and financial value that can be given nationally and internationally to their products as well as to elevate the pride of Sri Lankan handicrafts to the international level.
The website was developed with the partnership of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the National Crafts Council.
Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa said the e-commerce platform will be a springboard for the local artisans to take their designs to the international market.
“The story with the product sells better than a product without it in today’s world. There is a great demand for such products, the new-aged consumers are more concerned about the sustainable practices that go into a product. Sri Lanka has so many crafts with such stories, but we have not marketed them. When the story and creation are put together, that craft gets an additional value and a demand. Our effort is to create such a market for our artisans,” Weerawansa said.
He said the National Crafts Council was established to bring all artisans spread countrywide under one roof to provide solutions for their difficulties to access markets and to promote their craft.
“We hope that lakshilpa.com digital platform will guide our artisans to take their designs to the international market,” he added.
He claimed that creative artistic talents in our historic stories are unfortunately not being taught in school, whilst they focus more on historical events of other countries.
“The remaining craft knowledge is being passed down from generation to generation very slowly. Institutions such as the National Crafts Council have been set up to rectify this shortcoming. By doing so, this valuable craft and arts knowledge, which was limited to a few, can be taken to a wider section of our society,” he pointed out.
Weerawansa also said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was well aware of the need to uplift the local small industrialists and established three State Ministries under the Ministry of Industries for the local apparel and batik, gem and jewellery and cane, brass, clay and furniture industries.
The Minister also pointed out the crafts industry is also linked with the tourism industry and the sustainability of the two industries were imperative.
“The designs of our artisans are bought by tourists at a high price. Empowering the tourism industry is an essential condition for the sustainability of the craft industry as well. Tourists come because this country is currently in the green zone – safe to travel country. If you go back to the red zone it will stop. Therefore, while protecting the artisans, we must also be committed to protecting the tourism industry that strengthens the craft market,” Weerawansa said.
Ministers Namal Rajapaksa, Dullas Alahapperuma and State Minister Prasanna Ranaweera also participated at the launch ceremony.