Transport Demand

Dec 27, 2010 (LBO) – The number of vehicles imported by Sri Lanka continues to surge after a sharp import duty reduction, with new registrations up 74 percent to 284,991 in January – October 2010 from a year ago, latest data shows. The number of trucks and other transport vehicles imported have risen by 57 percent to 9,564 over the same period.

In October alone, the number of vehicle registrations shot up 61 percent to 34,183 from a year ago, driven mainly by imports of cars which zoomed 914 percent to 3,753, according to central bank data.

Vehicle imports have been rising sharply since June, when the import taxes were slashed by the government as economic growth began accelerating after the end of the island’s 30-year ethnic war.

Economic growth is expected to hit eight percent this year and government revenue has also risen despite lower import duty owing to the flood of vehicle imports.

According to central bank data, bus imports have shown the sharpest increase this year, as transport activity revived when connections to the north and east resumed after the war and travel picked up.

The number of buses imported during January – October 2010 rose 238 percent to 1,914 from the same period last year.