Sri Lanka targets US$12bn in exports in 2012

Mar 16, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is targeting 12 billion US dollars in exports in 2012 up from 10.4 billion in 2011 which will be helped by an upcoming trade fair and a weaker rupee, export development board chief Janaka Ratnayaka said. Ratnayaka said if current trends continue exports may reach a 2015 target of 15 billion rupees earlier than expected.

But Sri Lanka’s exports increased over 20 for two years running with a stable rupee at around 110 to the US dollar. A currency depreciation, increases profits of an export firm by cutting real wages of workers.

A depreciating currency impoverishes all wage earners and also destroys capital available for future investment by shrinking the real value of financial savings, including bank deposits and pension funds.

Sri Lanka started to have balance of payments trouble and its currency started to depreciate shortly after 1951 when a money printing ‘soft-pegged’ central bank was created, abolishing a ‘hard peg’ or currency board, which had kept the rupee fixed for more than 65 years.

Ratnayake said an upcoming ‘Expo 2012’ trade fair to kick off on March 28, will help Sri Lanka boost exports.

“Already more than 1,000 foreign delegates have signed up,” Ratnayaka told r