Aus-SL trade reaches AUD1.3bn with 27-pct growth in trade in services

Jan 09, 2018 (LBO) – Trade between Australia and Sri Lanka has surged to a record high of 1.3 billion Australian dollars in 2016-17, on the back of strong growth in trade in services, up more than 27 percent.

Australian High Commission said the growth for the year overall was more than 15 percent, continuing the strong trend growth of 8.6 percent over the past five years.

Education continues to grow as a pillar of the economic relationship with more than 9,500 enrollments by Sri Lankan students to study in Australia and thousands more pursuing Australian-affiliated studies locally.

The High Commission said the rapid growth in Australian tourists visiting Sri Lanka (up almost 10 percent for the year) saw Sri Lanka’s services exports to Australia grow by more than 36 percent.

Merchandise trade remained steady at around 480 million Australian dollars, based on Sri Lanka’s traditional strengths in tea, textiles and rubber.

Garments exports have grown strongly in the past year reflecting the decision by Australian retailers to source garments from Sri Lanka. Australia’s major exports of vegetables, dairy, wheat and machinery have also performed well.

The High Commission said there are now more high quality Australian goods appearing on Sri Lankan supermarket shelves.

During Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to Sri Lanka in November 2017, two countries signed the Australia-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement which provides a practical forum for our two governments to address trade issues.

“I’m pleased that inaugural talks under the Arrangement will take place in Canberra in April 2018,” commenting on the bilateral relations Australia’s High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson said.

“With the recent launch of direct flights between Colombo and Melbourne, we anticipate we will see continued strong trade growth in 2017-18.”

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