Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved the National Export Strategy (NES)—a five-year strategy aimed at increasing exports and generating enhanced revenue for Sri Lanka’s small and medium enterprises and exporters, a communiqué by the Export Development Board (EDB) said.
The EDB, Sri Lanka’s apex body for export promotion, said the implementation of the NES would increase Sri Lanka’s export revenue to US $ 28 billion by 2022.
The NES is a flagship development project spearheaded by the Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry and EDB together with public-private partnership.
“The focus of the government is to shift the economic growth model from one that was heavily dependent on debt-fuelled public infrastructure spending to growth driven by more public enterprises, exports and foreign direct investment,” Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said.
Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry Secretary Chandanie Wijayawardhana, who worked closely with the EDB and other public-private stakeholders in the run up to the Cabinet approval of the NES, said, “The National Export Strategy will have a tangible impact on how trade is being done in Sri Lanka and will give way to suitable trade reform.”
With the Cabinet approval for the NES, Sri Lanka now has the opportunity to catch up with fast-growing Asian exporting countries.
Sri Lanka’s exports had come down to about 12.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 from 33 percent in 2000.
The EDB said the IT-BPM, spices and concentrates, wellness tourism, processed food and beverages, boat-building and electrical and electronic machinery would be identified as priority sectors under the NES.
Meanwhile, International Trade State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said the NES would play “a tangible role in attracting more foreign direct investment to Sri Lanka”.
Sri Lanka recorded a trade deficit of US $ 10 billion despite the record high export earnings of over US $ 11 billion, last year.