BOC Trade Finance division switches to export focus
The physical centre was launched yesterday at the BOC tower with an earlier virtual launch by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The Export Circle is expected to take on new staff and the clientele will be given expedited service through the separate office space assigned to the division.
BOC Deputy General Manager M J P Salgado noted that the export focus was part of the Saubhagyaye Dekma manifesto of the government.
Given the current dollar shortage, Salgado opined that the launch of the Export Circle was done at the right time and through the division that exporters shall be ensured access to dollar liquidity.
BOC CFO, W P Russel Fonseka noted that Fitch Ratings expected the country to have a widening trade deficit in the future. He said that the new division would help create more synergies between exporters and streamline their access to the banking sector.
The person spearheading the division is currently in charge of trade services.
Assistant GM Trade Services Rochelle Fernando said, “It is the export sector that becomes resilient during these unprecedented times. They account for 51% of the total remittances the country has earned. Export earnings are one of the major positive contributors to the balance of payments.”
Fernando added, “The bank took a strategic decision in setting up this sector. The export circle looks into all pre-shipment and post-shipment financial requirements of direct and indirect exporters accompanied with a special deposit scheme.”
The Export Circle will look to come into a strategic agreement with the National Chamber of Exporters.
BOC Director G Harsha Wijayawardhana noted that Sri Lanka was historically famous for international trade and that the focus on exports would do well to bring back prosperity to the country.
The Export Circle will have a dedicated information counter, supply chain consultants, access to bridging export related organizations, specialized credit and deposit products, financial assistance, fast track approvals, low lending rates, low and negotiable FX rates, assistance with registration, same-day dispatching of export bills, and other services.
Multiple entities with a notable skew towards the Spices Sector obtained access to the Export Circle on the day that it opened. These exporters hailed the BOC for the financial assistance that it provides which helps them access foreign export markets.