Sidath Kodikara, President of the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA) and Murali Prakash, Vice President of SLRA, attended the 19th Asia-Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition (APRCE), which was held from September 5 to 7, 2019, at the Chongqing Yuelai International Convention Center, Chongqing, China. The theme of this year APRCE, was ‘New Retail, New Consumption, New Dynamics – Cooperation and Sharing’. This is one of the key events organized by the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations (FAPRA).
They were also invited to attend the Heads of Delegation meeting of FAPRA which was held on the September 7, 2019. SLRA was inducted as a full member by the FAPRA Executive Council during the meeting.
“FAPRA membership is expected to provide SLRA a plethora of benefits in reinventing retail in Sri Lanka. Possible knowledge sharing, exchange programs for executives, opening of windows for local retailers in other markets, possibilities of joint missions and ventures and understanding trends and retail inventions, are some of the possible actions that are being explored. In our quest to build retail excellence in Sri Lanka and to make it a retail hub for shopping, SLRA considers this alliance a great way forward, both for the retail industry and country at large,” asserted the two Executive SLRA members who were present.
The Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations (FAPRA), was founded in 1983 and fully established in 1989 at the 4th APRCE in Singapore. Since then, it has implemented activities and developed itself, with the aim of discussing common issues in the region, promote information exchange and friendship, thereby contributing to the development of commerce and the improvement of retailers’ status in the region.
FAPRA is the umbrella Organisation of 19 retail associations in the Asia – Pacific region, i.e. Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. It has over the years, assisted its members to foster closer ties, promote collaboration and exchange knowledge. SLRA is honoured to be the only representation from Sri Lanka and its 20 members.
During the meeting of the head of delegation, Sidath Kodikara, President of SLRA, introduced Sri Lanka and presented the country report on Sri Lanka’s retail market.
The Sri Lanka retail industry had recorded an encouraging growth of 6.6% CAGR since 2013, while the scale is USD 31 billion, which accounts for the 1/3 of the National GDP. The Retail Industry continued its emerging contribution to the nation’s economy and recorded an employment of 1.17 million (14% of Labour market of SL) staff, with more than 300,000 retail outlets. For the year 2019 quarter 1, wholesale and retail trade indicates 4.4% growth.
The 19th APRCE was visited by more than 4,000 delegates and participants from more than 10 countries/regions, whilst the next APRCE would be held in Indonesia in 2021.