Accounting for 65% of all national exports and 85% of all national industrial exports, the Board of Investment today announced that total export earnings recorded as at date for the year, from enterprises under its purview, have surpassed export revenues with the corresponding year-to-date value achieved in 2019.
The year 2019 is regarded as the last recorded year of pre-covid growth and is considered a base year to measure absolute performance and growth by, for subsequent years.
Of the 23 export sectors listed under the Board of Investment, 15 of them have grown vs. 2019, and most notably, seven industries such as Rubber, Textiles & Fabrics, Electronics, Food Processing, Industrial Chemical, Petroleum, Coal & Plastic, Transport Equipment and Waste have all recorded double-digit growth against the same period. Apparel, which is the largest contributor to export earnings among the total portfolio, while is just under 7% shy from achieving the corresponding 2019 value, has grown in double digits against 2020.
To support this achievement, the BOI remained committed to all enterprises under its purview, especially with the pandemic continuing to soar through the better part of this year, by the successful vaccination of the entire working population both within and outside its 14 Export Processing Zones and even facilitating the provision of curfew passes during lockdown periods, for all operations to continue unhindered. On top of this, the BOI also represented enterprises on issues that related to policy and regulation, to address concerns and challenges faced by enterprises.
As of November 2021, the BOI has signed USD 2bn worth of investment approvals. During the first half of 2021 alone, USD 760mn has been invested in Sri Lanka, of which USD 400mn is FDI, in contrast to pre-pandemic 2019, where 113 new projects were approved and added to the pipeline, to the value of USD 1.1Bn, of which, the foreign component value was USD 400mn. In 2020, despite the pandemic and slow down in investment decisions, 128 projects were approved with a value of USD 2.2Bn, of which, the foreign investment component was USD 1.6Bn. in 2021, 117 new projects were approved to the value of USD 2Bn, of which USD 980mn is the foreign investment component. Through this, the overall investment pipeline has exceeded 2019 values, despite the pandemic continuing through 2020 and 2021.