Record increase in worker remittances
US $ 377 million sent in January:
Sri Lanka’s foreign remittances from expatriate Sri Lankans have
recorded an increase of 20 percent in January compared to last year.
This is despite the volatile situations around the world, which affected
the foreign exchange earnings of many countries.
skilled workers employed abroad now
The Central Bank said foreign remittances during January recorded US$
377 million, which is an increase of 20 percent compared to the
corresponding period last year.
Establishing collective agreements with overseas employers for higher
wages and salaries, the expansion of the exchange houses network by
commercial banks, an increases in the number of persons taking up
high-end jobs overseas, the Government’s ongoing initiative to promote
inwards remittances through formal channels and opening of new bank
branches in the Northern and Eastern provinces were instrumental in
attracting a higher level of workers’ remittances, the Central Bank
A senior official of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment told
Daily News Business that over 61,157 workers had left for employment
abroad during the first three months this year.
During January around 20,702 workers and in February 18,854 workers
had left for employment abroad. During March over 22,101 workers had
left for employment marking the highest departures for this year.
“Most of the employees had gone to work in Middle East countries,
which is still the traditional market that dominates foreign employment
while there was a small percentage of people who had taken up employment
in other parts of the world.
However, there was a substantial increase recorded in the number of
skilled workers seeking foreign jobs,” the official said.
According to the Central Bank annual report 2010 a considerable
increase in inward workers’ remittances to US $ 4.1 billion helped
offset the trade deficit to a great extent in 2010.