Each export sector to contribute $ 1b to state coffers
Economic Development Minister Basil
Rajapaksa, Chairperson EASL Dawn Austin, Central Bank
Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Outgoing Chairperson EASL
Pic: Kavindra Perera.
The government has identified several product sectors to be developed
to international standards and once developed each sector will
contribute an export revenue of $ one billion to state coffers.
Speaking at the AGM of the Exporters' Association of Sri Lanka
outgoing Chairperson EASL, Nirmalie Samaratunga said that IT and the
offshore outsourcing industry can contribute one billion dollars while
cargo handling and transshipment can also be developed to bring in
She said that the five year strategy developed by the EDB can develop
exports and requested the National Export Plan designed by EASL be
The slow pace of global recovery is one of the main challenges the
country will have to face. As a solution exporters should look for
alternative markets. She said that Sri Lanka only exports five percent
of its total exports to India which can be increased immensely.
Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that the
country can grow at around 8.5 percent this year but the world economy
is not in good shape. Therefore, the only way to strengthen exports is
to look at niche markets and increasing productivity.
He said that diversification is taking place in exports while the
peace dividend has helped macro economic conditions which are benign.
For a long time one of the main problems was high inflation. But now the
fiscal deficit as well as inflation and interest rates have declined.
These are positive factors
for investors and businessmen. Chairperson EASL Dawn Austin said that
in the last few years exporters had to contend with difficulties in
marketing their products due to unprecedented global issues as a result
of the world economies crashing and markets dwindling. Therefore, they
have to reinvent their strategies in branding and identifying niche
She said that when moving to new markets there are new regulations
and therefore compliance is a must. Austin said that IT and Knowledge
technology will play a vital role in the future but shortage of skilled
people is a challenge.
Rail transport is a solution to reduce cost of transport, even if
only 30 percent of goods are transported across the country using the
rail network It will not only reduce cost but also congestion and the
money spent on maintaining the relatively new road network. Exporters
will need to develop their businesses without the government’s financial
intervention. Incentives and subsidies will become a thing of the past.
She was confident that the exporters are capable of withstanding any
storm and achieving the export target of $ 20 b by 2020.