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63% increase in SL services exports

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The estimated value of Sri Lankan services exports for the period January to December 2023 was US$ 3,080.9 Million, increasing 63.1 % over the corresponding period in 2022.

The services exports estimated by Export Development Board (EDB) consist of ICT/BPM (Information Technology and Business Process Management), Construction, Financial services and Transport & Logistics.

The estimated value of ICT exports has increased by 13.2 % to US$ 1,259.6 Mn in the period January to December of 2023 compared to the corresponding period in 2022.

EDB Chairman Kingsley Bernard said that Sri Lanka ICT and BPO sector saw a major increase in recent times and this helped to boost revenue from this segment. “Many international ICT companies too have increased obtaining their services from Sri Lanka for their global clients and this factor also helped to increase service exports.

More BPO centres too have been opened in the country,” he said.

The EDB Chairman also said that the construction sector contributed to this 63% revenue increase. “Local construction companies earned around US$ 9 million in 2022 by providing their services overseas and this increased to US$ 203 million in 2023,” he said.

He added that in the future they expect more export revenue from ship and yacht building mainly for the European market.

Bernard said that the export earnings from the apparel sector too should pick up from mid this year. “Already we saw apparel exports increasing in December,” he said.

In addition, Construction, and Transport & Logistics services exports are forecasted to increase in the period January to December 2024 compared with the corresponding period in 2023.

Meanwhile, earnings from tea which made up 12% of merchandise exports, increased by 3.57 % year on year to US$ 111.12 million in December 2023 compared to December 2022. This increase is mainly due to the strong performance in the export of tea packets and tea bags, increased by 10.95% and 142.37% respectively in December 2023 compared to December 2022.

Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Niraj De Mel said that this trend will increase in the future as well. “The Plantation sector was suffering from adverse weather last year. The tea production started to increase from October and this healthy trend is expected to continue. The lack of fertilizer too has been addressed and it is back to normal now,” he said.

He also said that the current global conflicts would not have a negative impact on the tea industry as major local tea exports do not focus on these areas.

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