Sri Lankan exporters asked to aim for 100-pct of GDP target

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Policy Planning Harsha De Silva has set exporters a new target – aim for exports to exceed 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The new government was committed to promoting exports, he told the annual general meeting of the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka.

Exports as a percentage of GDP was a better measure of the health of the sector than total export earnings.

“I’d like to see exports surpass GDP. That means exports should be more than 100 percent of GDP,” de Silva said. “That’s what we should aim for.”

He said the island’s economic situation was not good and drastic action was needed, not slow, gradual expansion.

Countries like Singapore and Hong Kong had exports exceeding their GDP, he said.

Fazal Mushin, new chairman of the Exporters Association said he had seen the landscape of the export sector change and that “sadly it was not an encouraging picture today.

“Exports as a percentage of GDP has continuously been declining. In 2010 it was 17.4 percent of GDP and as of 2014 it has further declined to 14.9 percent.”

After the end of the war Sri Lanka has not seen “the desired rapid economic growth that we all expected,” Mushin said.

Hong Kong had exports to GDP of 220 percent in 2014, Singapore 188 percent, Malaysia 80 percent, Bangladesh 20 percent, India 24 percent and Germany 46 percent. (Colombo/July 30 2015)
 

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