Economy News from Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s export turnover amounted to $9.5 billion during this year’s first seven months, while the goal was $18.5 billion. However, as it progresses, the nation will be able to get near to that goal. Over the first seven months, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama told Parliament yesterday, there has been a 6.6 percent increase in exports of products and merchandise.
Moving suggested laws under the Export Development Board Act, the Minister said: “As per the Export Development Board Act, the registration system for all exporters was implemented, and this was achieved in August 1985. At that moment, the primary reason was that two government organizations–Sri Lanka Customs and the Department of Inland Revenue–discovered this data necessary for their job. We have realized, however, that removing these demands will contribute efficiently to the Ease of Doing Business Index in Sri Lanka. There are other methods and means to find out who the exporters are, and we prepared a fresh gazette to revoke the published previous gazette. “He observed that the global economy is weakening. The trade war between the two main nations–the U.S. and China resulted in the World Bank to reduce the growth rate to 3%–3.1%. India’s GDP growth has dropped to 5 percent, and in China it has dropped 6 percent to 6.5 percent, adding that this produces adverse effects not only for those nations but for most other nations around the globe.
He pointed out, however, that the exporters of Sri Lanka have performed exceptionally well despite the world’s negative trading circumstances and the local problem. “First of all, in October 2018 we had this unconstitutional coup, followed by this year’s tragic April Easter bombings. Despite this, we reported 17 billion export sales in products and services. This was the highest ever reported in Sri Lanka. “Minister Samarawickrama congratulated the exporters of the country and the attempts of the Export Development Board, its ministry and the other export industry ministries. “Many measures have been taken to reach the target, including US$ 28 billion by 2025. “First of all, we realized that the product base needs to be diversified. A domestic export strategy has been introduced as a consequence. The EDB, our ministry, and the private sector created it. Six fresh industries–ship construction, IT services, wellness tourism, spices and concentrate, food processing, electrical and electronic parts–were recognized in the domestic export policy. We also need to continue exporting traditional products. In order to enter, we have recognized fresh markets. There is a lot of exporting scope to Asia — India, China, and East Asia. “The EDB introduced the’ 2000 Exporters ‘ program to generate 2000 fresh exporters, the minister said, adding that his ministry was conducting seminars across the nation for this purpose.
“New exporters have been recognized around 750–800. Then we have the market access program in which the EDB offers these exporters with financing and matching grants. Lastly, we are looking to launch one village product program comparable to what was accomplished some time ago in Thailand. Hopefully, this would start before the end of this month, “he added. As far as exports are concerned, the minister said that the nation is on the correct track.”When our government took office, exports as a proportion of GDP ranged from around 13% to 14%. It has now risen to 20% of GDP. But if we want to enhance the economy and get rid of all these loans taken from time to time, I believe our exports should achieve at least US$ 35 billion and a GDP proportion above 30%.
We must also guarantee that we introduce to the country export-oriented sectors. This requires the mindset of our leaders, the bureaucrats, and our individuals. It’s time for us to look at high-value investments, of course bringing the outcomes will take 3–4 years. But we need to get started. In this respect, we are happy to know the BoI has taken measures in this direction. From 1978 to 2018, the complete amount of FDI entered Sri Lanka is only US$ 17.3 billion. But we have been able to get US$ 5.8 billion over the last five years, which is about 33 percent.
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