Sri Lanka business chamber welcomes export proceeds rule extension

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the easing of the rule on repatriation of export earnings to four months from three, saying it would give exporters “breathing space” at a time exports are falling.

“The sustainable strategy to raise export earnings should be based on enhancing competitiveness through innovation, and through export-oriented trade, investment, and macroeconomic policies,” a statement said.

It said the rule on sending back export earnings was inconsistent with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s stated vision of making Sri Lanka more open and flexible to international trade and financial flows.
“As the Chamber had pointed out in its representations to the government when it was first announced in April, this rule hurts Sri Lanka’s export competitiveness, compromises export orders, and complicates international trade transactions,” the chamber said.

“While maintaining this rule in any form is still rather restrictive, and this compulsory repatriation rule should be a temporary measure, the increase in the number of days from 90 to 120, with an additional 30 day grace period, helps to give exporters some breathing space.

“This is especially important at a time when Sri Lanka’s export performance is flagging with a 5.6 percent decline in the first seven months of this year, compared to the same period last year,” it said.
The government has announced that it has extended the deadline to send back export earnings to 120 days from 90 from August 1.

The rule came in April with an order by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to repatriate export earnings within 90 days from the date of the exports, in an effort to boost foreign exchange inflows.
(COLOMBO, Oct 20, 2016)

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