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Sri Lanka govt pursuing export credit insurance, not Exim bank: Eran

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government will not rush into setting up an Export-Import Bank as proposed in the budget but is considering other ways such as export credit insurance, Eran Wickremeratne, deputy minister of public enterprise development, said. 

“Our government believes exports need to take centre stage,” he told the annual general meeting of the National Chamber of Exporters.

But although the government had proposed setting up an Exim bank it should be done carefully, Wickremeratne said.

“While an Exim bank in Sri Lanka is a good idea it is not something we can afford to rush into,” he said.

Wickremeratne said he comes from a banking background and believes the island does not need more institutions but needs to do things more efficiently.

”The government must focus on interim measures to provide export finance using other windows and mechanisms like SLECIC (Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corp) or even state banks in encouraging exports,” Wickremeratne said.

Sri Lanka could follow examples in South East Asia in how exports were encouraged by central government intervention rather than creating new institutions like an Exim bank, he added.
“The issue is we have to capitalise it (Exim bank) properly. Banks don’t come cheap and they need large amounts of capital.”
(Colombo/January 17, 2016)

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