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 Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) is forecasting a performance of $ 15.68 billion in merchandise and service shipments in 2021.
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 $10.75 billion.
The Central Bank on 27th March 2020 announced a series of wide-ranging financial concessions to alleviate the hardships businesses are facing owing to the impact of Covid-19. The concessions are applicable to the entire gamut of organisations ranging from large corporate to self-employed individuals, and particularly to export-related enterprises. The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) took the initiative in bringing the severity of the crisis situation the business community, particularly the export sector, is facing and the dire need to give relief, to the notice of the Central Bank and other key Government stakeholders.
Sri Lanka Customs has taken immediate steps to assist the exporters whose export of products have been delayed by the corona outbreak to export products that have been produced and prepared for exportation as well as goods that are essential and urgently required to be exported to respective countries.
According to the latest customs provisional data the total exports from Sri Lanka in January 2020, recorded a marginal increase of 0.96% in comparison to the similar period of the previous year, due to the merchandise exports recording a drop of 7.41% and the projected growth of 26% of Service exports, The merchandise exports stood at US$ 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.
Sri Lanka doubled its export promotion efforts last year in comparison to 2018, enabling the private sector, especially the small and medium segment, to succeed amidst growing competition and other challenges.
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.
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 .
The 23rd Presidential Export Award Ceremony (PEA) organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) was successfully held on 19th September 2019 under the patronage of His Excellency the President of Sri Lnaka at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo with the participation of the large number of exporters. The award winners were presented a prestigious PEA Trophy and a Certificate & they have the privilege to use the “Award Logo” as a marketing tool for a 3 year period.
The 23rd Presidential Export Award Ceremony organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) will be held on Thursday 19th September 2019 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) under the patronage of His Excellency the President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai is set in a spectacular manner to ensure the strengthening of the country’s trade, tourism, and investments. The Sri Lanka Export Development Board plays a critical role, together with private and state organisations, to landmark Sri Lanka’s presence at this global event.
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) is implementing a national programme to nurture 2000 new entrepreneurs to become exporters during the period 2017 - 2022 at regional level. The main objective of this programme is to encourage domestic enterprises to invest in export industries to achieve the overall export target of US $ 28 billion in 2022. Accordingly, the EDB has initiated integrated product and market development programmes for export potential SMEs, already registered with “2000 New Exporters Development Programme” to be developed as exporters in 2017-2022.
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in association with the National Research Council (NRC) held an awareness session on the NRC’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Programme on 29th July, 2019, at the EDB Auditorium targeting the exporter community. The aim of the session was to educate exporters about the modalities of the PPP programme.
“This Act is truly visionary; I wish other countries had this in their export development framework!”, remarked a senior official of the Geneva-based International Trade Centre to me some months back. He was referring to the ‘Sri Lanka Export Development Act No. 40 of 1979’, which marks 40 years this month. He had found it to be an institutional arrangement that was far ahead of its time, and is still having relevance today – not just for Sri Lanka, but also for other developing countries. And he would know, having worked on export development strategies for over a dozen countries around the world.
To help Sri Lankan companies eyeing the daunting Indian market, the International Trade and Development Strategies Ministry yesterday launched a new report to assist breaking into India, with Minister Malik Samarawickrama undertaking a visit to India this week to help local businesses find success across the Palk Strait.