Considering the importance of promoting the Boat building industry as a potential export sector and the investment opportunities and employment that it will create for the economic development of the country, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the EDB joined hands in organising ‘Sri Lanka Boat Show’ since 2008. EDB officials said that the centre for manufacturing boats is now moving towards developing countries mainly due to the competitive labour cost and the trainable workforce offered by these countries. Therefore, EDB organised its first ever National Pavilion for the boat building industry at Dubai International Boat Show, and UAE in 2011 with an objective of penetrating the lucrative leisure industry in the Gulf market.
Encouraged by the outcome of the first initiative, the EDB is taking another step forward to enter into the prestigious European market by organising Sri Lanka’s participation at “Southampton Boat Show” in UK from 14th to 23rd September this year. The Southampton Boat Show ,one of Europe’s premier on-water boat shows, is an important event in the boating calendar which attract over 120,000 high net worth individuals every year and features some of the world’s best known marine brands and high end non marine brands.
Whilst providing all exhibitors the best possible environment to show their goods and services, the Southampton Boat Show strives to offer boating enthusiasts the most complete picture of the marine market. Further, the show organisers will undertake a comprehensive multi channel marketing campaign, specifically targeting key visitor audiences. The European Union accounts to 36 % of the world boat imports and UK is the fifth largest importer in the EU region. UK has shown a remarkable increase of 103% in annual boat imports between the period 2009- 2011. The EDB officials said that in this context the United Kingdom presents an ideal venue for Sri Lanka to capture the European market for the boat building industry.