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Sri Lanka trade deficit narrows in July, import growth slows

Officials from K. Seeds Investments Pvt Ltd (at left) with officials from Commercial Credit and Finance PLC (at right)

Sept 18, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's trade deficit has narrowed in July with oil imports slowing and exports growing by 33.9 percent, the Central Bank said Tuesday. Exports had grown to 690 million US dollars in July 2007 against 516 million US dollars in July.

"The persistently strong demand for apparel has continued to provide the basis for the strong trade performance in July 2007," the bank said in a statement.

"Apparel exports rose by 38.5 percent in July 2007 and were complemented by the expanded market access in the EU countries."

Though growth in rubber based products slowed after rapid growth in previous months, the Central Bank said higher exports of tea and vegetable fats preparations to India which has been lagging since last July had also picked up.

In July imports grew by 6.2 percent to 916 million dollars from 816 million dollars.

"The growth was primarily driven by intermediate and investment goods," the Central Bank said.

"Textiles imports grew by 16.1 per cent indicating a continuing growth momentum in apparel exports.

"Despite lower imports of transport equipment, the investment goods continued to grow at a hi

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