Sri Lanka’s fisheries sector targets Rs. 50 billion export revenue through seafood exports by end of this year
Sri Lanka’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry has said it believed the country could achieve a target of recording an export revenue of Rs. 50 billion in seafood by the end of this year.
“Last year we had record foreign exchange revenue of Rs. 28.68 billion from fish exports and we are confident that this year we will be in a position to double that amount to Rs.50 billion,” Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has told a local English business newspaper Daily FT.
The Minister has explained that foreign exchange earned from the export of seaweed has recorded Rs. 5.3 million, while lagoon shrimp has recorded Rs. 1.931 billion and freshwater shrimp Rs. 154 million. In addition, ornamental fish has reached Rs. 1.67 billion, while other seafood exports have also helped earn a significant amount of foreign exchange.
A majority of Sri Lanka’s seafood exports is to the European Union, while substantial quantities of fish are also exported to the US, Japan and Russia.
Minister Amaraweera has said Sri Lanka was also looking at exploring more Asian countries in the future with impending trade and economic partnerships.
He has added that the notable performance in seafood exports indicates the positive impact of multiple factors such as the removal of the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) ban on the exports of fisheries products to the EU and regaining the EU GSP Plus facility.
The Minister has also noted that improved production, quality standards and an increased number of vessels had also contributed to the record income earned from seafood exports last year.
The comments by Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Minister on the increase in export earnings through seafood exports and the ambitious target of Rs. 50 billion export earnings set for this year indicates the continuous growth in the seafood exports sector in Sri Lanka. Given the trade relations Sri Lanka has with many countries, the fisheries sector is likely to be further benefited in promoting seafood exports. Therefore, foreign investors could explore for opportunities to invest in Sri Lanka’s fisheries sector.
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