New SL govt aims to boost exports

The new Sri Lankan government is aiming to boost exports this year as at least four state ministers have been appointed to develop key local products such as gems, batiks, coconut, rubber and tea, media reports said on Friday.

Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe was quoted in the local Daily FT as saying that sector-specific state ministers/ministries had amplified the importance of the export sector and that they look forward to working with all line ministries to boost merchandised exports, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Exports have been recognized as a deserving sector to appoint sector-specific ministries in reviving the economy post-Covid-19.

“A lot of emphases has been given to agricultural exports and farming, which has been a weak area in our export basket for decades,” Prabhash said.

Amidst the pandemic, Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports last month crossed the one billion dollar mark.

Soon after the health criris hit Sri Lanka in March, exports in April fell to $277.4 million

But a continuous pick-up in exports was seen thereafter, with $587 million in May and $906 million in June.

The EDB is optimistic and anticipates that the steady growth trend would continue in the last quarter of this year.

It’s confident that the food and agriculture exports would help Sri Lanka achieve the $10.5 billion target set for this year.