State Minister Prasanna Ranaweera of Small and Medium Enterprises Development revealed that Sri Lanka has achieved a noteworthy export income totaling Rs. 983.7 million over the past two months, signaling a positive economic trajectory for the nation. Emphasizing the pivotal role of fostering entrepreneurship, especially within educational institutions, the State Minister underscored the importance of nurturing a culture conducive to cultivating successful entrepreneurs from an early age.

Speaking at a press conference themed 'Collective Path to a Stable Country' held at the Presidential Media Centre on Friday (28), State Minister Ranaweera remarked, "As a nation, we have made significant progress in overcoming past economic challenges. The recent achievement of generating an export income of Rs. 983.7 million in the last two months reflects our positive momentum." Additionally, he highlighted the influx of approximately 500,000 tourists to the country in January and February, contributing to the economic boost.

Ranaweera further elaborated on initiatives aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, citing the recent awarding of diploma course certificates to nearly 500 students by the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel. Through collaboration with the Industrial Development Board (IDB), the establishment of school entrepreneurial circles has been successful, enabling the assessment of students' entrepreneurial potential. This proactive approach, he emphasized, is instrumental in laying the groundwork for a robust manufacturing economy.

Addressing social welfare initiatives, the State Minister reported progress in providing welfare benefits to 2.4 million underprivileged families and implementing a lunch program catering to the nutritional needs of 1.7 million schoolchildren from grades one through five.

In a bid to further bolster economic sectors, Ranaweera outlined plans to enhance the clay, brass, and cane industries by initiating exports to countries such as Italy, Canada, and Germany. Collaboration with the Asian Development Fund has facilitated arrangements for offering concessional interest rate loans, aimed at fostering growth and sustainability within these industries.

In response to recent transportation challenges concerning cane materials, collaborative efforts have been initiated following consultations with the Wildlife and Forest Conservation Ministry. As a result, arrangements have been made to facilitate the transportation of up to 500 canes, alleviating logistical hurdles in this domain.

Moreover, discussions with the National Crafts Council have yielded positive outcomes, culminating in an agreement to permit the transportation of a maximum of five cubes of clay. This collaborative approach aims to address logistical bottlenecks within the clay sector, ensuring smoother operations and fostering growth within the industry.

In conclusion, the concerted efforts undertaken in collaboration with relevant ministries and councils underscore our commitment to addressing transportation challenges and fostering growth within key sectors such as cane and clay materials. By proactively resolving logistical hurdles and facilitating smoother operations, we pave the way for sustained economic progress and development. Moving forward, we remain dedicated to leveraging partnerships and implementing strategic initiatives to overcome obstacles and propel Sri Lanka towards greater prosperity.