Sri Lanka’s exports lagging in Asia: Governor

Aug 02, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports, as a percent of GDP, fall far below other countries in the region, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016 organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, exports as a percentage of GDP was 12.8 percent, while Vietnam recorded 83.7 percent, Malaysia 67.5 percent, Thailand 54.2 percent and Singapore 119.7 percent.

It is essential that Sri Lanka looks at export diversification and finding new markets, he said.

Commenting on the macroeconomy in the context of challenges to increasing exports, he said Sri Lanka was aiming for mid single digit inflation this year.

“We are living in an inflationary world, and the average inflation in Asia is 2.5 percent, which is half that of Sri Lanka,” he said.

“That puts a high premium on productivity, or Sri Lanka has to depreciate the currency.”