Home » Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa Outlines SJB’s Plan to Boost Sri Lanka’s Export Sector

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa Outlines SJB’s Plan to Boost Sri Lanka’s Export Sector


In a keynote address at the Council Meeting of the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa presented a comprehensive plan to revitalize Sri Lanka’s export sector, which has been facing numerous challenges. Premadasa, the chief guest at the event, emphasized the need for a rational and expert-driven approach to address the issues plaguing the sector.

Ground Realities and Challenges
The Opposition Leader highlighted several key challenges facing the export sector, including:

  • Low trade openness, with levels comparable to 1977
  • Stagnant export growth between 2000 and 2016
  • Limited high-tech product exports (only 1% of total exports)
  • Lack of product diversification
  • Limited export market diversification
  • High energy costs, making it difficult to compete with other Asian countries
  • Need to move towards knowledge-intensive exports

SJB’s Plan
To address these challenges, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya proposes the following strategies:

  • Attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) for capital and knowledge transfer
  • Encourage exporting multinational companies to set up operations in Sri Lanka
  • Tap into global value chains to promote intra-industry trade
  • Pursue free trade agreements to diversify export markets
  • Expand into high-value exports
  • Focus on improving productivity and human capital development
  • Increase investment in research and development (R&D)
  • Support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in export promotion
  • Reform and revitalize institutions like the Export Development Board (EDB)

Inspiration from Other Countries
Sajith drew inspiration from countries like Vietnam, which has significantly increased its exports through aggressive free trade agreements. He also cited examples from Japan, Taiwan, and especially India’s Karnataka region, which have successfully promoted export-oriented and IT-related growth through investments in education and infrastructure.

The Opposition Leader also emphasized the need for a collective effort to rebuild and make Sri Lanka great again. He expressed confidence in the SJB’s team of experts and specialists, who are committed to implementing a rational and well-planned approach to address the challenges facing the export sector.

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