Sri Lanka’s export sector performance has been able to managed its growth momentum in May 2021 with the challenges of this pandemic. “We are happy to see that export levels are reaching fast to the pre-Covid 19 levels despite the continuous multiple challenges faced by our exporters with intermittent travel restrictions and local area isolations. Maximum efforts are be taken to secure the export orders in hand while attracting new orders to the country – the responsibility of the authorities are to facilitate the exporters in every possible way to keep them operating”, Chairman, EDB.
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.
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.
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 $10.75 billion.
The Central Bank on 27th March 2020 announced a series of wide-ranging financial concessions to alleviate the hardships businesses are facing owing to the impact of Covid-19. The concessions are applicable to the entire gamut of organisations ranging from large corporate to self-employed individuals, and particularly to export-related enterprises. The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) took the initiative in bringing the severity of the crisis situation the business community, particularly the export sector, is facing and the dire need to give relief, to the notice of the Central Bank and other key Government stakeholders.
Sri Lanka Customs has taken immediate steps to assist the exporters whose export of products have been delayed by the corona outbreak to export products that have been produced and prepared for exportation as well as goods that are essential and urgently required to be exported to respective countries.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in partnership with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board organized a Familiarization tour of the Jordan market for a 13 member delegation of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs from 25 – 27 February to seek entry into the Jordanian market which has been hitherto largely untapped by Sri Lanka.
According to the latest customs provisional data the total exports from Sri Lanka in January 2020, recorded a marginal increase of 0.96% in comparison to the similar period of the previous year, due to the merchandise exports recording a drop of 7.41% and the projected growth of 26% of Service exports, The merchandise exports stood at US$ 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.
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