May 20, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s new rulers said that the country needs to focus on exporting more products and services as the government’s strategy is to develop the local export market to be able to compate in the international areana.
“Our thrust is to ensure that we have exports, exports and more exports,” Ravi Karunanayake , Finance Minister of Sri Lanka said at a recent media gathering.
“We certainly have drop of exports field, may be the quantity is there but the quantity, value and the volume is not there,”
“We have to move Sri Lanka to a regional market, expanding its scope and market share from the domestic to the international arena.”
Sri Lanka’s GDP at current market prices was estimated at 9,785 billion rupees (US dollars 75 billion) in 2014 compared to 8,674 billion rupees (US dollars 67 billion) in 2013.
Agricultural sector contributed 10.1 percent to the GDP, Industrial sector contributed 32.3 percent and service sector 57.6 percent contributed.
Exports amounted to only 11.3 billion dollars compared to 19.46 billion dollars of imports, leaving a trade gap of 8.27 billion dollars Karunanayake said.
“It is yours (Business Community) and our duty to mitigate this trade gap. We have a balance of payment surplus but the trade gap must be made positive to ensure an overall healthy situation,” Karunanayake said.
“We have strong partners that are willing to coming in, India on one side, European Union, China on the other side, Asian partners Japan, Korea. All would come on board.”
He said the government is looking to reduce some of the products and services that are imported into the county which are unwanted.
Karunanayake added that regionalizing is one of the areas that the government is looking at in expanding trade.
“Regionalising is an area we are looking at and this would certainly give a cheaper production cost at a higher selling ability allowing us to be competitive in the export market,”
“You do not need to compete individually, we will get together and compete.”