Colombo, Dec 9 – China accounted for 35% of foreign direct investments into Sri Lanka up to September this year with FDI for the full year expected to total US$ 1.36 billion, the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade said.
It said in a statement that there was a “strong uptick” in exports and FDI this year, according to the latest 2017 data from the Export Development Board and Board of Investment.
“Data from the Board of Investment indicates a substantial uptick in FDI inflows to the country of US$ 795.5 million during January to September this year, 80% higher than the same period last year and already exceeding the full year 2016.
“FDI from China (including Hong Kong) is around 35% of FDI to date, while India is 16.4%, and Singapore is 9.3%.”
Others in the top 10 countries for FDI into Sri Lanka are Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia, Sweden, and Australia.
The statement said the BOI expects FDI for the full year 2017 to total US$ 1.36 billion.
The manufacturing and services sectors have seen the larger share of FDI inflows – of US$ 397 million while the infrastructure and utilities sectors received US$ 352.5 million.
The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade also said merchandise exports grew 10.3% to US$ 9.5 billion in the 10 months to October 2017 from a year ago with monthly exports topping US$ 1 billion thrice this year.
“As Sri Lanka’s pro-growth reforms gather pace, amidst an improving external economic environment, exports and foreign direct investment have shown substantial increases this year compared to last year,” it said.
Estimates in the services exports sector suggest an overall growth of 5.9% during the first eight months of the year, bringing total exports to US$ 12.5 billion.
The EDB expects export earnings for the full year (Jan-Dec) to total US$ 15 billion.
“Within merchandise exports, fisheries exports have grown by a substantial 42%, agricultural exports by 18.5%, and industrial exports by 5.9%,” the statement said.
“Strong performance is seen in several of the ‘priority sectors’ identified under the new National Export Strategy; notably, electronics and electrical exports growing by 17.8%, spices growing by 34%, and boat building growing by over 370%.
“Meanwhile, food and beverages exports have dipped by 13.3%.”
By export destination, earnings from exports to the European Union have increased by 4.1%, and exports to USA have increased by 1.5% during January to October this year, compared to the same period last year.
Exports to the ASEAN region have grown substantially, by 45%, to US$ 400 million (compared to US$ 276 million last year).
The ministry said exports to India have performed strongly, growing at 24%, from US$ 456 million to US$ 566 million during the period in review.
Meanwhile, exports to the UK have declined by 1.8%, largely on account of the depreciation of the British pound and the consumer market uncertainty due to Brexit. (EconomyNext)