Australia-Sri Lanka trade reaches $1.3bn, services up 27-pct
ECONOMYNEXT – Trade and services between Sri Lanka and Australia had reached 1.3 billion Australian dollars in 2017 (about 960 million Us dollars), up 15 percent from a year earlier, drive by service.
"Education continues to grow as a pillar of the economic relationship with more than 9500 enrolments by Sri Lankan students to study in Australia and thousands more pursuing Australian-affiliated studies locally," the Australian High Commission (embassy) said in a statement.
"The rapid growth in Australian tourists visiting Sri Lanka (up almost 10 per cent for the year) saw Sri Lanka’s services exports to Australia grow by more than 36 per cent."
Merchandise trade remained steady at around 480 million Australian dollars, with Sri Lanka’s key exports being tea, textiles and rubber.
"Garments exports have grown strongly in the past year reflecting the decision by Australian retailers to source garments from Sri Lanka, the statement said.
"Australia’s major exports of vegetables, dairy, wheat and machinery have also performed well. There are now more high quality Australian goods appearing on Sri Lankan supermarket shelves. "
Australian merchandise sales to Sri Lanka had fallen 1.4 percent to 248 million Aussie dollars, while Sri Lanka’s exports to Australia had grown 2.4 percent to 231 million dollars.
Exports to services to Sri Lanka had grown 22.5 percent to 473 million Aussie dollars, while imports of services from Sri Lanka had grown 36.5 percent to 277 million dollars.
Australia’s High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson said Australia-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement during the Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to Sri Lanka, which will be a forum to address issues and grow trade.
The first meeting will take place in Canberra in April 2018.
"Our shared aim is to open up new commercial opportunities for business," he said. "‘With the recent launch of direct flights between Colombo and Melbourne, we anticipate we will see continued strong trade growth in 2017-18. (Colombo/Jan08/2018)