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.
The export development board is pleased to see an export focused budget which will support strong export growth led by investment, value addition and maximizing our Sri Lankan natural resources, this is a pivotal change in Sri Lanka’s growth strategy which will be led by the exporters.
Earnings from merchandise exports rebounded in June 2020 to US $ 906.02 Mn as per the Customs statistics, with the export sector progressively commencing actions following the relaxation of lockdown measures and the recovery of both domestic and global supply and demand chains to some extent.
Sri Lanka Export Development Board’s Director of the Export Agriculture Division Malani Baddegamage in an interview with Daily News Finance yesterday, stressed that Sri Lanka’s global image rose phenomenally following the outbreak of COVID 19 as buyers were convinced with the manner that the Government controlled the spread of global pandemic.
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 $10.75 billion.
The Central Bank on 27th March 2020 announced a series of wide-ranging financial concessions to alleviate the hardships businesses are facing owing to the impact of Covid-19. The concessions are applicable to the entire gamut of organisations ranging from large corporate to self-employed individuals, and particularly to export-related enterprises. The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) took the initiative in bringing the severity of the crisis situation the business community, particularly the export sector, is facing and the dire need to give relief, to the notice of the Central Bank and other key Government stakeholders.
Sri Lanka Customs has taken immediate steps to assist the exporters whose export of products have been delayed by the corona outbreak to export products that have been produced and prepared for exportation as well as goods that are essential and urgently required to be exported to respective countries.
According to the latest customs provisional data the total exports from Sri Lanka in January 2020, recorded a marginal increase of 0.96% in comparison to the similar period of the previous year, due to the merchandise exports recording a drop of 7.41% and the projected growth of 26% of Service exports, The merchandise exports stood at US$ 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.
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 Export Development Board organized an Export Promotional Mission to Toronto in Canada from 20 to 23 October 2019 in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Consulate in Toronto. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka partnered under the Economic Diplomacy Program (EDP) which enabled to organize Sri Lanka Pavilion at GIC in successful manner.
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.
Supply Side West will be held on 17 & 18 October 2019 at EXPO hall, Mandalay Bay, 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89119.
Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara - two of the most iconic cricketers produced by the country has come on board as Sri Lanka’s Brand Ambassadors for Expo 2020 Dubai organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) as a public private cooperation project .