Export sector rebounds in 1Q
The export sector, a key driver of the economy rebounded from last year’s sluggish pace to record a five percent growth during the first quarter of this year as against the corresponding quarter last year.
Revenue from exports rose from US$ 1,739 million in the first quarter last year to US$ 1,823 million this year.
This is a noteworthy increase given the slow economic recovery in key markets in Europe and other export markets, Chairman, Export Development Board, Bandula Egodage said.
Merchandise export income rose seven percent to US$ 11,118 million in 2014 compared to US$ 10,394 million in 2013.Merchandise export revenue excludes revenue from Information Technology exports.
The main contributor to exports is the apparel sector which accounts for around 40 percent of exports to the EU region.
Textiles, tea, cinnamon, rubber based products, fish, ceramics, processed and fresh fruits and vegetables and ornamental fish are some of the main export items from Sri Lanka.
Egodage said that the EDB will hold a series of trade exhibitions and fairs this year to showcase Sri Lanka's export potential to the world. “Sri Lanka has some of the best entrepreneurs who could carve a niche area in the global market with value-added products,” Egodage said.
The International Coloured Gemstones Congress will be held in Sri Lanka for the first time, from May 16-19 in Colombo.
The gem and jewellery industry is the country's fourth largest foreign exchange earner and it has been identified as one of the thrust sectors by the EDB.The industry's potential for value addition, revenue enhancement and employment generation is high but remains untapped to a large extent.
Sri Lanka will host the Asian Trade Promotion Fair in August this year, an event that will attract a large number of visitors to the country.
The International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trade (IFEAT) conference, an annual event for the essential oils and aroma trade will be held in Colombo in September this year.“We expect around 1,500 participants from around 53 countries at this year's events,” Egodage said.
Sri Lanka will make its presence at the Expo Milan – 2015, one of the largest trade exhibitions from May to October this year.
The event will attract around 20 million visitors from around 140 countries.