Sri Lanka’s exports increase by 2.5% this February to record Rs. 993.7 million
Sri Lanka’s export earnings have reportedly recorded a 2.52% growth resulting in a new high of US$ 993.73 million this February from a year earlier, maintaining the growth momentum recorded during the past five months as per the provisional statistics released by Sri Lanka Customs, local media reports have stated.
“This is the highest export figure recorded for the month of February during the last five-year period,” the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) has been quoted as saying.
“The growth of exports was supported by increase in global demand notably for products such as Electrical and Electronic components (EEC) and rubber gloves. Notable increases in exports were observed to Netherlands, China, Canada and Spain,” the EDB has stated.
EDB Chairman Suresh De Mel has reportedly said, “Sri Lankans are strong in facing challenges, and the exporters have shouldered the task of placing the economy of the country on the right track with immense difficulties. A tribute to exporters for their commendable performance during unstable circumstances.”
According to EDB, exports of EEC and rubber gloves have shown resilient performance, registering triple-digit growth for the period of January to February 2021 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. This growth was resulted by increased exports of transformers to Spain.
Earnings from export of spices and essential oils, coconut based products, rubber based products, tea and food and beverages increased in the first two months of 2021 compared to the first two months of 2020, the Daily FT has reported.
Exports of rubber products, especially industrial and surgical rubber gloves, have shown a strong performance, registering double-digit growth (54.27%) for the period of January to February 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
Despite the decline in the export of apparels, earnings from exports of other textiles and made-up textile articles have recorded an increase of 27.43% and 5.69% during the period under review.
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and the transition period which applied the import tariff similar to EU, had ended on 31 December 2020. Following BREXIT the UK had introduced a new tariff regime, namely, UK Global Tariff (UKGT) with effect from 1 January.
Exports to the EU region, which has accounted for 28% of total merchandise exports of Sri Lanka, has recorded an increase of 29.32% to US$ 532.10 million in the first two months of 2021 in comparison to the corresponding period of 2020.
Exports to the United Kingdom as the second largest trading partner had recorded a decrease of 21.39% to US$ 141.37 million during January to February 2021 compared to the period of January to February 2020.
Being the largest single export destination, exports to the United States of America had recorded US$ 471.79 million which is a decline of 10.63% in comparison to US$ 527.9 million recorded in January to February 2020.
Increases in exports were recorded in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, China, Canada and Turkey during the period of January to February 2021 with the corresponding period of 2020, the local media report stated.
Sri Lanka’s exports sector continued operations even during the Covid 19 lockdown last year. The sector has been on a gradual path to normalcy. The increase recorded in the local exports sector is indicative of the growing business potential in sector. Sri Lanka is fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region given its geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean region and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s exports sector.
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