Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board targets US$ 18.5 billion export target for this year
Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board (EDB), Prabhash Subasinghe has reportedly stated that boosting exports must be everyone’s priority, as the EDB has set a target of US$ 18.5 billion in exports this year, which is a 15 percent increase from 2019.
The EDB has been quoted saying in the Daily FT that as per provisional data, last year Sri Lanka’s total merchandise and service exports amounted to US$ 16.14 billion an increase of 1.44 percent from 2018. Accordingly, the composition was merchandise exports were US$ 11.9 billion, up 0.13 percent and service exports were US$ 4.2 billion, up by 5.3 percent from 2018.
The EDB had originally targeted US$ 18.5 billion exports for 2019, and the estimated performance reflects achievement of 87 percent of the goal.
The target set for 2020 is US$ 13.5 billion in merchandise exports, which is a 13.4 percent increase and US$ 5 billion for services exports, an 18.2 percent increase from 2019.
According to Subasinghe, export earnings as a percentage of GDP was 22 percent, whereas for Vietnam it was 105 percent, Thailand 67 percent and Singapore 176 percent. “Ideally we should look at increasing this to 30% in the medium,” he has noted.
“Sri Lanka needs to make exports a national priority. We can’t grow as a country without exports. So boosting exports must be everyone’s priority, not just EDB’s and all state agencies must support,” Subasinghe has said, adding that Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is passionate about export development and all government employees need to align accordingly.
Apart from continuing with the broader National Export Strategy (NES) which was implemented two years ago, the EDB Chief has announced six short-to-medium initiatives to bolster exports. The NES focuses on strategically important sectors such as ICT/BPM, boat building, electrical and electronics, spices and concentrates, processed food and beverages, and wellness tourism.
Despite some external challenges, Sri Lanka’s exports sector is on a continuous growth path. Supported by many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country, Sri Lanka’s exports sector possesses many business/investment potential. Given the commitment of Sri Lankan authorities to further boost the country’s exports sector, foreign businesses could explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka’s exports sector.
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