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    Lanka rides $60Bn global FOSS wave to help exporters

    May 30, 2014

    We decided that it is time that our exporters adopt FOSS solutions to enhance their competitive advantage as we want our exporters to be competitive and will go to great lengths to help them in it.” said Sujatha Weerakoone (Director General-EDB) on 29 May in Colombo.

    Sri Lanka has a favourable ‘per container cost to export’ rate of only $ 595. After reporting a recorded exports of $1.07 Bn  in March, the country is now mulling a new high tech initiative to help exporters to lower this rate for added competitive advantage-while eager Lankan exporters are already testing to avail themselves to a portion of $60Bn global savings from Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

     

    Director General Weerakoone was addressing the Lankan exporters at the session “Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) solutions for Lankan Exporters”  held on 29 May in Colombo at EDB Auditorium.  The session was moderated by an eminent ICT industry expert panel consisting of Dr A Ruwan Weerasinghe (Senior Lecturer-University of Colombo School of Computing), Neschae Fernando (VP Strategy & Technology of Zone24x7, USA), Samisa Abeysinghe (VP, Developer Evangelism of WSO2), Suchetha Wijenayake (IT Consultant, Open Source Advocate-fossure.com) and Sampath Wickremesinghe (Technical Project Manager-Zone24x7). 52 reps from 39 Lankan firms in IT and non-IT sectors–including Shaw Wallace Ceylon Limited (Renuka Group), Sri Lanka Telecom, Akbar Brothers (Pvt) Ltd, Data Management Systems (Pvt) Ltd, LOLC Technologies, Open Arc Systems Pvt Ltd, SAITM Campus, McCallum Cargo (Pvt) Ltd, and Nordtex Pvt ltd-took part in the 29 May session.

     

    According to the World Bank, Sri Lanka has a favourable ‘per container cost to export’ rate of only $ 595, same as Thailand, Morocco and only $5 more than Hong Kong. Tajikistan has the highest rate $ 8650. Sri Lanka has recorded $ 1.07 Bn exports for this march, YoY rise of 28.6%.  

     

    ‘Join $60Bn global savings by use of FOSS’- Neschae Fernando (VP Strategy & Technology of Zone24x7, USA), addressing the exporters said that annual global costs savings from FOSS is $ 60 Bn. “Sweden saived $ 1 Bn and Denmark saved $ 500 Mn last year by using FOSS. The city of Largo, Florida reports a savings of $1 million per year –that is 40% of their annual budget!”

     

    The Lankan exporter community’s interest was apparent immediately. As soon as the 29 May presentations were over, keen reps from exporter community began to shoot many queries, some of which were very technical and FOSS software based, clearly indicating that Sri Lankan exporters have already begun using FOSS solutions. (KH/SI)

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