LuLu Group has inaugurated a new sourcing, food processing and export unit in Sri Lanka.
In a press statement yesterday, the Group stressed that the opening was aimed at further boosting its sourcing operations and bringing in high-quality products for its large chain of hypermarkets.
Y AS. Lanka was inaugurated by Sagala Ratanayaka, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and Minister for Law & Order and Southern Development; in the presence of Duminda Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture; Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries; Eran Wickramaratne, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development; Yusuffali MA, chairman of LuLu Group; other high-ranking officials and prominent businessmen.
Situated “ideally” in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone, near Colombo international airport, the “state-of-the-art” facility will primarily focus on sourcing, processing, storing, packaging and exporting of fruits, vegetables and commodities from Sri Lanka to various LuLu operations around the world, according to the statement.
Speaking at the inauguration, Yusuffali MA said: “It is our ongoing strategy to set up our own sourcing and food processing units around the world to ensure uninterrupted supply and ensure competitive pricing by eliminating middlemen.
“Sri Lanka has a vast variety of fruits, vegetables and various commodities and we are working closely with the ministry of southern development and Government of Sri Lanka to boost the export of these. Already, we are exporting almost $5mn worth of fruits, vegetables and commodities, which is expected to go up to $10mn by the end of the first year.” The quantum of export is also expected to rise from the current 3,500 tonnes to 7,000 tonnes, the statement notes.
Currently, LuLu operates 134 hypermarkets in 10 countries in the Gulf countries, Egypt, India and the Far East and employs more than 40,000 people. Last year, the group recorded an annual turnover of $6.9bn and was ranked as the No 1 retailer in the Middle East & North Africa region and as one of the Top 50 fastest growing retailers in the world by Deloitte, LuLu Group said.
Yusuffali MA will also be holding meetings with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe to update them on LuLu’s plans.
“Initially, we have invested $20mn in this facility, and soon we intend to venture into the retail sector with a world-class shopping mall and modern hypermarket in Colombo,” the LuLu Group chairman added.
LuLu Group has similar sourcing centres in the UK, US, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, China and Africa, among others.
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