Exhibitions in major cities planned:
Export revenue to top $ 10 b this year
A dragon fruit exporter
Export revenue will reach US$ 10 billion by the end of this year if
the current export growth rate continues during the rest of the year,
said Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman, Janaka Ratnayake.Revenue
from exports grew 72 percent in January and 52 percent in February this
year compared to the corresponding months last year. Export revenue
recorded a 17 percent growth last year compared to the previous year.
Though export earnings have increased the trade deficit widened last
year according to data.
The trade deficit in 2010 widened over 66 percent to US$ 5.2 billion
from US$ 3.1 billion in 2009 while cumulative earnings from exports
increased by 17.3 percent and expenditure on imports increased by 32.4
percent. Sri Lanka earned a record US$ 1.37 billion in tea exports last
year exceeding that of Kenya.
Tea export earnings from exporting 314 million kilos last year were
16 percent more than 2009. Earnings from garment exports to the US and
EU increased by 33.9 percent and 31.4 percent in December 2010. The
government targets export earnings of US$ 20 billion by 2020.
Garments, tea, rubber, ICT, BPO and KPO sectors, gems and jewellery
and ceramics are some of the main export industries in the country.
“The EDB will launch an e-directory for exporters which will comprise
personal profiles and products and service profiles to enhance exports”,
He said a website on gem and jewellery will be launches to promote
exports of Sri Lanka’s precious stones.
It is believed that the engagement ring of Prince William to Kate
Middleton is studded with a Sri Lankan blue sapphire.
“EDB has got the nod to use the lion logo on cinnamon exports.
Earnings from cinnamon exports last year were US$ 83 million”, Ratnayake
The three-day Expo Bazaar organised by the EDB for the first time
attracted a large crowd over the weekend. A wide range of export items
were on display.
Ratnayaka said there is a huge demand for Sri Lanka’s ornamental
fish, fresh fruits and handicraft in foreign markets. EDB will reward
innovation and support exports of new products.
“The EDB will hold a series of international exhibitions in major
cities across the globe during the year to showcase Sri Lanka’s products
and services”, Ratnayake said.
Sri Lanka exports around 4,000 items to over 100 countries and faces
stiff competition from emerging markets such as Bangladesh, Vietnam and
Kenya for tea and garments.
Export revenue has been on a decline due to the turmoil in the Middle
East and Japan. The financial crisis in certain European countries is
affecting exports to an extent.Tea exports to the Middle East has slowed
down due to the crisis in the region. Libya is a major buyer of Sri
Lankan tea with exports of around 10 million kgs reaching the
destination. USA and Europe are two major buyers of Sri Lankan garments.
The withdrawal of the GSP Plus has an impact on apparel exports as
large scale exporters have not fully recovered from the termination of
the zero duty export facility.