Surge in Exports

Surge in exports

Order bentyl 20 Despite the Domesday scenarios painted by some pessimistic economic soothsayers, Sri LankaA?a??a??s economy has done well under extraordinarily trying circumstances. The country is saddled with a conflict for which military action has become essential and inevitable. This naturally means a huge defence expenditure.

Add the global economic downturn and the oil crisis to this situation and one does not need to possess an Economics Phd to comprehend the gravity of it all. Third World countries including Sri Lanka have been the hardest hit.

In spite of all these obstacles, the Sri lankan economy has posted an impressive growth rate and is on course to achieve the set targets or even exceed them. One of the most positive aspects of the economic performance in the first five months of the year is the surge in exports, especially of industrial goods.

Exports have recorded a growth of 12.6 per cent in the first five months, while in may alone, exports accounted for US$ 746 million of our foreign exchange earnings. This is an impressive achievement by any yardstick.

The growth in industrial exports is especially impressive, as it denotes LankaA?a??a??s rise as an industrial goods manufacturing country. The good news is that agricultural productsA?a??a?? are also contributing heavily to the share of growth in exports. Tea is still the mainstay of the agriculture sector, but other crops are catching up.

It is also heartening to note that rubber, diamonds, textiles and petroleum products are also contributing significantly to the rise in exports. The prominence of non-traditional exports is a welcome sign.

The exporters must not rest on their laurels. One of our biggest challenges is finding new markets for both traditional and non-traditional exports. The newly emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Central and South East Asia are potential markets for many of our products.

The multitude of Government agencies working in the sphere of export development must have a coordinated plan to develop exports. More exporters, especially medium and small-scale exporters must be given the opportunity of participating in international trade shows to provide them with more exposure.

With a just a few days to go for the SAARc Summit, one has to acknowledge that SAARC can do more to develop intra-regional trade. Trade within SAARC is still at a minimal level despite the existence of free trade agreements among many Member countries, but a SAARC-wide initiative must be taken to realise the full trade potential of the eight nations.

Roads to prosperity

Roads are a vital factor for development. No country can hope to develop without improving its road network. Developing a road opens many doors – it links villages with towns and towns with cities, enabling the faster movement of people and goods. It can literally be a matter of life and death for rural folk in case of a medical emergency as vehicular access to the nearest hospital will only be possible if there is a good road to town.

But Third World countries cannot always afford to spend heavily on infrastructure projects. This is where they need the help of multilateral agencies and individual countries.

In this context, Sri LankaA?a??a??s highways sector received a boost last week with the granting of US$ 98 million by the World Bank for road development especially in rural areas. This will be in addition to US$ 100 million provided in 2005.

We are pleased to note that many City roads are being resurfaced by the CMC in view of the SAARC Summit. The same attention should be paid to rural roads by the Road Development Authority and local bodies in the respective areas.

Some of these roads are barely motorable and even the pedestrians have a hard time traversing the giant potholes. Paved roads will give these villages a new lease of life and link more villages with each other.

Bridges too are an important component of road development. Bridges link communities which would otherwise remain cut off. President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently opened the Buy ranitidine for babies Arugam Bay bridge which has become a new ray of hope for the East.

Likewise, the building of more bridges in other areas of the country would improve access to cities and bring communities together. The national expressways currently being built will also help to shrink travel times further and improve the economy.


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