The Consulate General of Sri Lanka to Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania together with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) and the Sri Lanka and Australia Chamber of Commerce (SLACC) organised a webinar titled – Exporting to Australia – What you need to know - on the 20th May, 2021. Kalum De Silva, President of SLACC, moderated the session. He is the founding national president of SLACC.
EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel stated that the export target would certainly witness a revision due to the week-long travel restrictions that have come into effect and several areas being caught under the isolation. However, he said it is too premature to assess the impact or divulge the revised target. He noted that the revision is ‘absolutely necessary’.
Sri Lanka’s export performance continued its upward momentum in the first three months of 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown last year, exports were contracted by a record 64.63 per cent in April 2020. However in April this year, exports grew up by 183 per cent to US$ 798.9 Mn in comparison to the previous year.
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) has made arrangements to facilitate export-oriented industries based on the circulars issued by the Government Health Authorities to continue operations of their activities during lockdown of specific areas in the country and inter-provincial travel restrictions subject to stringent health regulations.
Sri Lanka surpassed $ 1 billion exports in March 2021 after a lapse of six months period. As per the Customs statistics, earnings from merchandise exports recorded double digit growth of 62.47% in March 2021 on y-o-y comparison – the March figure being US$ 1,066.1 Mn.
Sri Lanka’s export earnings registered a growth of 2.52% with US$ Mn 993.73 in February, compared to the previous year, maintaining the growth momentum recorded during the last five months as per the provisional statistics released by Sri Lanka Customs. This is the highest export figure recorded for the month of February during the last five-year period.
Hon. Bandula Gunawardana, Minister of Trade urged the whole stakeholders to actively engage in assisting all exporters of the country in every possible manner during this turbulent period enabling exporters to strengthen our economy.
Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) new Chairman Suresh de Mel this week expressed confidence of giving the best shot at realising a near $ 16 billion target for 2021 despite domestic and global challenges. This confidence stems from a plethora of new initiatives as well as fine-tuning existing endeavours to develop and boost exports.
The US$ 13.5 billion export target set for merchandise export sectors in early 2020 remains challenging, requiring not only strong efforts from local enterprises, but also the recovery of global demand amid complicated Covid-19 situation. Amid severe impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports remain at US$ 9.9 billion in 2020, which is a 104 % achievement from the revised forecast of US$ 9.5 billion.
Following our statement last week, the EDB strengthens our clarion call to understand that exports are now our nation’s number one priority. As the COVID-19 crisis intensifies across the globe, we at the EDB have taken a strong stance and realized that it is the export sector that will get Sri Lanka through this crisis. During these times of unparalleled circumstances, we see a large impact on Sri Lanka’s foreign direct investment, our tourism sector and our country’s overall economic standing. Therefore, we ask other government agencies to recognize and support the export sector during this time. For all exporters, it is imperative to take immediate action. The foreign exchange that we bring in through the export sector is essential in our efforts to survive this crisis as a nation.
It’s a difficult moment for the world. We are fighting the coronavirus pandemic whilst our nation’s exporters have been facing challenging times for the past two months. The EDB requests that now more than ever, the time has come for us to prepare our businesses to stay up and running. As a nation, we are no stranger to disaster, having faced our fair share of adversity. We are confident that we will weather this storm and as we have done in the past, Sri Lanka will emerge stronger than ever and continue focusing on our main goal - recommencing exports, restoring them to their former level and increasing them.
Considering the unprecedented disruption to the global economy and trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Export Development Board has revised its 2020 exports forecast by a hefty 42% to $10.75 billion.
The Central Bank on 27th March 2020 announced a series of wide-ranging financial concessions to alleviate the hardships businesses are facing owing to the impact of Covid-19. The concessions are applicable to the entire gamut of organisations ranging from large corporate to self-employed individuals, and particularly to export-related enterprises. The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) took the initiative in bringing the severity of the crisis situation the business community, particularly the export sector, is facing and the dire need to give relief, to the notice of the Central Bank and other key Government stakeholders.
Sri Lanka Customs has taken immediate steps to assist the exporters whose export of products have been delayed by the corona outbreak to export products that have been produced and prepared for exportation as well as goods that are essential and urgently required to be exported to respective countries.
The National Plant Quarantine Stations at the Seaport, Colombo and Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake are open to accepting samples of plants and coir products for quarantine testing and issuing of certificatio.
According to the latest customs provisional data the total exports from Sri Lanka in January 2020, recorded a marginal increase of 0.96% in comparison to the similar period of the previous year, due to the merchandise exports recording a drop of 7.41% and the projected growth of 26% of Service exports, The merchandise exports stood at US$ 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.
Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe yesterday urged that boosting exports must be everyone’s priority, as the key agency set an ambitious yet achievable target of $ 18.5 billion this year, up by 15% from 2019. EDB revealed that as per provisional data, last year Sri Lanka’s total merchandise and service exports amounted to $ 16.14 billion up by 1.44% from 2018. The composition was merchandise exports were $ 11.9 billion, up 0.13% and service exports were $ 4.2 billion, up by 5.3% from 2018. EDB originally targeted $ 18.5 billion exports for 2019, and the estimated performance reflects achievement of 87% of the goal.
Sri Lanka yesterday launched the official website announcing the country’s participation in the six-month long Expo 2020 Dubai, anticipating a major boost to exports, tourism and investments while looking to enhance the country’s brand value and image globally.