Export earnings exceed US $ one b
Country should start producing indirect exporters and
The export industry in the country is expecting an earning of US $ 24
billion per annum with an expectation of US $ two billion monthly export
earnings by the end of 2012.
National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) Chairman Sarath de Silva said the
country’s export industry has now started to harness the benefits with
export earnings exceeding the milestone of US $ one billion. The
performance of the industry is improving significantly.
“Sri Lanka should start producing indirect exporters and producers to
increase export volumes to meet export goals. Africa is the future focus
of the world and it is timely that Sri Lanka should also be prepared to
cater to this potential market. NCE is planning on several road shows in
Africa to explore niche areas that we could tap on,” he said.
“There is also possibilities to uplift the export industry in the
South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region as we have
free trade agreements (FTA) with the regional countries, in which we
have the advantage of FTAs. However, Sri Lanka has not taken the
favourable advantages of the FTAs. Therefore, Sri Lanka should adopt an
aggressive marketing strategy in placing export products in the SAARC
region,” de Silva said.
During the visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari last year, he
called for barter trade with Sri Lanka rather than depending on dollar
denominated trade and currently we are looking at possibilities on it in
the SAARC region and the Gulf region.
Despite the volatile situation in Middle East countries; our exports
should be made on both commodity and cash, while remaining in the
The country could also explore new markets like breakaway Russian
republics. Agriculture production, value addition to mineral, tea,
rubber and coconut products as the yield of agricultural products are
The government’s fertilizer subsidy has helped the agricultural
industry which indirectly has supported the export industry as well. In
achieving a common goal it is important to have more public private
partnerships (PPP). The private sector and the public sector will meet
at a common ground making the export industry more vibrant with NCE and
the Export Development Board (EDB) entering into a permanent
The Chamber and the EDB is planning to set up a joint expo promotion
centre within Colombo. This export centre is a proposal by the NCE which
was accepted by the EDB.
The proposal is yet to get approval and is expecting to complete the
centre by end of this year as NCE celebrates its silver jubilee.