Sept 14, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday draw the attention of the country’s top business leaders, the underutilized opportunities they have to enter into the international market.
Wickremesinghe took the example of Vietnam that expanded mainly because of the Korean investors followed by Japan and China and FTAs with EU, Japan and even with the countries like Chillie.
“Now look at our position, we had the GSP+. We can export 6,000 items there. Can you find 60 big items being exported in general categories?” Wickremesinghe questioned.
“No, we haven’t. So, we got one opening there we haven’t utilized. Secondly, we have the FTA with Singapore. That also gives us opportunities. Can we utilize them?”
He was speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in Colombo, Friday.
The premier said the government is looking at Chinese investments because they will expand the range of products and bring in their own markets.
Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka’s first problem is the limited exports the country has.
“Our products are limited; Tea, apparels and solid tires. Until we get out of that framework doing all other measures will not give us success,” he said.
“So, we have to look at products, if we are looking at manufacturing especially, we have to look at both domestically as well as foreign investments to expansion. That is where our focus is.”
He added that to move out of the current situation, the country needs to focus more on tourism which is a short-term gain and then attract foreign investments whether people like it or not.
|Rank||Exporter||2017 Exports||Since 2013||%Asia Total|
|3.||South Korea||$573.7 billion||+2.5%||9%|
|4.||Hong Kong||$550.2 billion||+2.8%||8.6%|
|18.||Myanmar (Burma)||$13.9 billion||+21.4%||0.217%|
|20.||Sri Lanka||$11.7 billion||+17.4%||0.18%|
|24.||Brunei Darussalam||$5.6 billion||-51.3%||0.087%|