E-commerce Readiness Assessment Report Sri Lanka was launched by the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB). The report is the result of a request by the EDB in 2018 for technical assistance from COMSEC to conduct an e-readiness assessment for Sri Lanka and undertake capacity-building programmes on e-commerce for SMEs and women entrepreneurs. The project was funded by COMSEC through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC). The publication comes at a time when businesses in Sri Lanka were compelled to exploit e-commerce mechanisms in the wake of lockdowns and travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
Sri Lanka’s exports have surpassed the $ 1 billion mark in July after six months time period where a similar achievement was only recorded in January during this year.
Bringing the best of Wellness Tourism to a domestic audience, the Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism Association (SLWTA) and the Export Development Board (EDB) concluded its third and final webinar of a tri-part series – Wellness: A New Paradigm in Sri Lankan Tourism, recently. Culminating with its final session on 10 July, a panel of high-profile industry experts comprising of Prof. Lal Chandrasena, GM, Nawaloka Hospitals; Dr. Lakith Peiris, MD, Hemas Hospitals; Dr. Shantha Godagama, President, UK Ayurvedic Medical Association; Dr. Palitha Serasinghe, Founder and Chairman of Setramed UK; Shalin Balasuriya, Co-Founder of SPA Ceylon; shared several exceptional insights, with Trevor Reckerman, Chairman, SLWTA summarising how Sri Lanka can position itself in the global wellness industry, through a well structured national action plan.
Sri Lanka’s Wellness Tourism industry received a new impetus when the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) recognized Wellness Tourism as a thrust sector under the National Export Strategy (NES) 2018-22, as the island has natural and traditional endowments that can be used to develop a sustainable Wellness Tourism industry. Ever since then, the EDB has undertaken ground-breaking initiatives to make Wellness Tourism one of the top income earners of the country.
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.
An esteemed panel of local and international experts from the wellness tourism industry have agreed that Sri Lanka has all the necessary attributes to become a leading global wellness player. The comments were made during the first session of a three-part webinar series, held on 3rd July, highlighting the untapped potential of Sri Lanka’s wellness tourism sector.
Exports play an important role in a country’s economy as they influence the level of growth, employment and balance of payments. For Sri Lanka, the focus on exports is now more important than ever, as the island nation looks to bring in foreign currency to boost the economy.
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.
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 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.
In the last decade, there has been a seismic cultural shift towards natural medicines. And it seems more people than ever want to explore one of the most ancient and exotic of healing modalities – Ayurveda. Ayurvedic medicine is said to treat the body, mind and spirit of a person as a whole, and the basic principle is that you can fine tune your holistic health and happiness by balancing your three doshas, biological energies which govern all physical and mental processes, and provide an individual blueprint for health and fulfillment.
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.