Export earnings surpass USD 3 b in first four months | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Export earnings surpass USD 3 b in first four months

5 June, 2021
Suresh de Mel
Suresh de Mel

Export earnings from merchandise exports during the first four months this year were US$ 3699.34 million while income from service exports is estimated at US$ 1.2 billion according to statistics of the Export Development Board (EDB).

The EDB, the apex body driving exports intends to promote new export sectors such as ayurveda and herbal products; pharmaceuticals; marine and offshore engineering; boat building; PPEs (facemasks, polythene coveralls, and surgical gloves); construction industry; consultancy (architectural services), and education services during 2021.

The export promotion body initially forecasted an export target of US$ 15.68 billion for 2021, out of which US$ 12 billion is projected from merchandise exports and US$ 3.58 billion is expected from service exports. However, due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EDB plans to revise this target taking into account the weeks-long travel restrictions and the impact felt by the apparel industry - the country’s premier export sector - from the latest outbreak of this pandemic. “We decided to revise the export revenue target set this year taking into consideration the extended travel restrictions in the country and the global scenario fortrade,” said EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel. He said the garment industry, a key revenue generator, has been a vulnerable sector of the current crisis. The industry was affected by Covid-19 badly during the second wave of the pandemic. “These are very uncertain times,” de Mel said, stressing on the unpredictability of the circumstances in the country which would subsequently affect the process of manufacturing and exporting Among measures initiated to boost industries the EDB has launched an assistance scheme to enable farmers and processors in Sri Lanka to obtain organic certification as per the Sri Lanka Organic Standard - SLS 1324:2018. The certificates will be issued by the certification institutes accredited for SLS 1324:2018 by the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB) This assistance initiative hopes to promote the National Organic Standard (SLS 1324:2018) among small farmers; streamline production, handling, processing and labelling of organically grown agriculture products to meet a consistent standard; encourage conventional farmers to transform into organic cultivation and increase the production volumes and income; establish transparency throughout the supply/value chains from farm to market and upgrade farmers to obtain international certification in the future to meet the export demand.

On FTAs, it has been identified 18 amendments to be made to the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and anticipates conducting negotiations with Singapore.