COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Global Rubber Industries Pvt. Ltd. (GRI) was the silver sponsor of the World Rubber Summit 2018, an annual event hosted by the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), held earlier in May in Colombo.
This year's event was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Plantation Industries of the government of Sri Lanka.
GRI's founder and managing director, Prabhash Subasinghe, chaired a session at the event titled, "The Sustainable Growth Path for the Rubber Industry and What Fast-Growing Economies Can Offer." Mr. Subasinghe also was re-elected recently.
Asela Gunawardena, sales and marketing director of GRI, said as a Sri Lankan company, GRI looks at the World Rubber Summit as "an exclusive opportunity for the worldwide rubber industry to discuss the current challenges the industry is facing, along with future opportunities, and most of all about how we can work in unison to advance this industry."
In his session, Mr. Subasinghe focused on the need for a steady supply of natural rubber, as well as the need for sustainability of the workforce and commitment and investment to provide more skills to the labor force.
Mr. Subasinghe said rubber is a $30 million crop, and global consumption is expected to reach 19.4 million tons by 2020, and that the demand for rubber won't decrease anytime soon. He said that synthetic rubber is not a long-term alternative to natural rubber because of its detrimental effects on the environment.
"Since its inception in 2002, GRI has worked to bring progress and development to its local community and the country." Mr. Subasinghe said.
GRI inaugurated its $40 millon tire factory in Badalgama earlier this year, the first facility in Sri Lanka to produce agricultural tires. Approximately 70 percent of capacity at the factory will be devoted to agriculture tires, while the remainder will be for pneumatic construction tires and forklift tires.