Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board forecast close to US$ 16 billion total exports in 2021
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) is reportedly forecasting a performance of US$ 15.68 billion in merchandise and service shipments this year.
The EDB in 2021 reportedly expects US$ 12 billion from merchandise exports and US$ 3.58 billion from services exports.
EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel has told the Daily FT that of the exports forecast, the Board expects US$ 5.4 billion from apparel, US$ 1.47 billion from tea, US$ 998 million from rubber and US$ 809 million from coconut.
From the other sectors, US$ 427 million from food and beverage, US$ 415 million from spices and concentrates and US$ 398 million from electrical and electronic components. Additionally, seafood exports are estimated to bring US$ 229 million and diamond, gems and jewellery a further US$ 173 million, the local media report stated.
In contrast, garments exports in 2020 were US$ 4 billion, down by 24% from 2019. Rubber exports were US$ 786 million, down by 9%; gems, diamonds and jewellery down by 31% to US$ 211 million.
In 2020, merchandise exports were US$ 10 billion, down 16% from 2019. Overall exports and Earnings from merchandise exports recovered to a great extent in December 2020 from the setback suffered in the previous two months due to the second wave of the pandemic.
Earnings from exports in December 2020 were recorded at US$ 964 million with a marginal decline of 3.5% from US$ 1,000 million recorded in December 2019.
According to De Mel, spices and concentrates, processed food and beverages, seafood and aquaculture, coconut-based products, rubber-based products, electrical and electronic components, ICT/ BPM are some of the growth sectors of exports in 2021.
Earnings from merchandise exports had recovered to a great extent in December 2020 from the setback suffered in the previous two months due to the second wave of the pandemic. Earnings from exports in December 2020 were recorded at US$ 964 million with a marginal decline of 3.5% from the US$ 1 billion recorded in December 2019.
The forcesat by the EDB for 2021 is indicative of Sri Lanka’s economic activities returning to normalcy after facing external and internal challenges due to the global Covid 19 pandemic. Sri Lanka’s economy has shown great resilience to challenges through the years and once again the island is showing strong signs of returning to normalcy. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it an attractive business hub in the South Asian region. The government of Sri Lanka has also introduced many incentives to further develop and promote the country’s exports sector. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, especially in the exports sector.
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