Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena urged the Chief Executive Officer of Daraz Group, Bjarke Mikkelson to expand the Saubhagya Production Bureau and Saubhagya Production Villages through Daraz Connect, which is being carried out in partnership with the Divisional Secretariats.
During a discussion with a delegation headed by Mr Mikkelson at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday, he said the Daraz Connect programme would be useful for rural skills development.
Daraz CEO acceded to the request made by the Prime Minister to explore possibilities of venturing into renewable energy, production of electrical bicycles and marketing rural agricultural and cottage industries products.
Managing Director Rakhil Fernando said Daraz Connect is a physical location sellers can visit to learn how to sell online and carry out their e-commerce operations. Elaborating its methodology, Public Policy Officer Anishka De Zylva said each Daraz Connect will have a Daraz Ambassador to guide sellers and coordinate special workshops for sellers.
During the meeting government priorities related to cross-border regional trade, logistics, technology, and foreign direct investment were discussed. The main focus was on the government’s priorities in terms of developing the cross-border potential of e-commerce and positioning Sri Lanka as an e-commerce hub in the region.
Daraz has already invested over USD 15 million in Sri Lanka and directly and indirectly employees over 1500 people and it is the country’s largest e-commerce business and online marketplace.
Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake, Daraz Chief Operations Officer Darshika Attanayake and Head of Admin, Procurement and Government Relations, Malith Ranadewa also participated in this discussion.