Sri Lanka UK post-war trade gets trade credit cover boost

Mar 09, 2011 (LBO) – Britain is seeing more inquiries from firms who want to do business with Sri Lanka and is standing by to back deals with export credit cover which has been enhanced after the end of a 30-year war, an official said. ECGD gives political risk insurance to cut the risk of repayment when dealing with foreign governments.

ECGD cover can make bank financing easier and cheaper, Renowden said.

Britain is recovering from an economic slump and fast growing Asian nations present an opportunity for UK businesses. British firms such as Maybe & Johnson have already been involved in bridge construction in Sri Lanka with UK government support.

“Traditionally when conflict ends there is a growth premium. Countries have an opportunity to develop infrastructure that they can’t do during times of unrest,” says Olwen Renowden, country risk analysts at UK’s exports credit guarantee department (ECGD).

“That’s one the key areas of expertise British companies have, in capital goods and infrastructure. We are particularly interested in the opportunities Sri Lanka has there.”

ECGD has raised its exposure limit to Sri Lanka to 200 million sterling from an earlier 150 million sterling last year.

“The fact that