The Central Bank on 27th March 2020 announced a series of wide-ranging financial concessions to alleviate the hardships businesses are facing owing to the impact of Covid-19. The concessions are applicable to the entire gamut of organisations ranging from large corporate to self-employed individuals, and particularly to export-related enterprises. The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) took the initiative in bringing the severity of the crisis situation the business community, particularly the export sector, is facing and the dire need to give relief, to the notice of the Central Bank and other key Government stakeholders.
Total merchandise exports for Jan & Feb 2020, was US$ 1,931 which resulted in a reduction of 3.6% compared to the same period in 2019.
The Government should extend the financial moratorium to all exporters, as merchandise exports will be the first to bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis is controlled, a top official said.
“The moratorium on loans and interests that the Government has introduced to the apparel, tourism, IT and SME sectors should be extended to all exporters. Merchandise exports will be the first to recover and help the economy,” Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe told Daily FT.
Sri Lanka Customs has taken immediate steps to assist the exporters whose export of products have been delayed by the corona outbreak to export products that have been produced and prepared for exportation as well as goods that are essential and urgently required to be exported to respective countries.
The National Plant Quarantine Stations at the Seaport, Colombo and Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake are open to accepting samples of plants and coir products for quarantine testing and issuing of certificatio.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in partnership with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board organized a Familiarization tour of the Jordan market for a 13 member delegation of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs from 25 – 27 February to seek entry into the Jordanian market which has been hitherto largely untapped by Sri Lanka.
The Export Development Board (EDB) yesterday called on the private sector to plan and prepare for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 challenge, which has caused market and supply chain disruptions globally since February, and is threatening to impact trade.
Sri Lanka needs to popularize boating as a lifestyle to create awareness on the boating activities among the relevant stakeholders and more importantly to increase revenue in a big way, Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), Director General Jeevani Siriwardena said.
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Egypt organized a business networking event, from 23 to 25 February 2020, with the participation of a 11-member delegation of Sri Lankan exporters, facilitated by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, under the Economic Diplomacy Programme. This event focused on promoting selected Sri Lankan products having a high demand in the Egypt markets namely; Ceylon Tea, Coconut Products, Rubber Products and Spices.
According to the latest customs provisional data the total exports from Sri Lanka in January 2020, recorded a marginal increase of 0.96% in comparison to the similar period of the previous year, due to the merchandise exports recording a drop of 7.41% and the projected growth of 26% of Service exports, The merchandise exports stood at US$ 961 Mn in January 2020, which is lesser than US$ 77 Mn, in January 2019. The figure for Service exports has not yet been released and the EDB has projected figures based on the past published records. It was revealed that only in the year 2019 the exports recorded over one billion in comparison to the figures of the last five years.
Prabhash Subasinghe, Chairman - EDB, predicted a bright future for Sri Lanka’s fruit and vegetable exporters, as the new government under the guidance of HE President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has placed a great emphasis to develop agriculture via advanced technologies. Subasinghe encouraged the fruit and vegetable exporters to exploit the opportunities from the new government’s people-centric economic development policies to generate a higher export income. He made these remarks during a meeting with the industry leaders last week at the EDB.