Sri Lanka’s Gem and Jewellery Exports Generate $315M

The minister said that this sector demonstrated an impressive export growth rate of 34 percent….reports Asian Lite News

Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery sector has generated an export revenue of 315 million U.S. dollars this year, State Minister of Primary Industries Chamara Sampath Dasanayake said on Tuesday.

The minister told reporters that this sector demonstrated an impressive export growth rate of 34 percent.

He said the national gem and jewellery authority of Sri Lanka stands as a pivotal contributor to the South Asian country’s foreign exchange reserves.

“We have taken numerous strategic decisions concerning the operations of this authority. In the previous year, we achieved a significant income of 230 million dollars through gem exports,” he said.

Lanka starts paying Bangladesh loan

With multiple deadlines’ extensions given by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka has started repaying currency swap taken from Bangladesh with the first installment of $50 million.

Sri Lanka’s State Finance Minister Shehan Samasinghe announced that the repayment of the loan has been started and on the plans on the upcoming installments of $100 million and final installment of $50 million.

Having undergone a severe financial crisis in 2021, Sri Lanka had borrowed $200 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh under a currency swap deal. 

Though the repayment was promised within three months, aggravated economic crisis in Sri Lanka turned to a political upheaval with the sitting government was forced to abandon and the President to flee the country. Thus, Sri Lanka sought several extensions for the repayment. 

The original repayment had been promised between August and November 2022 but Sri Lanka had asked for extra deadlines. However, Sri Lanka has been paying the interest every three months.

Bangladeshi media reported quoting Bangladesh Bank Executive Director and spokesperson Mezbaul Haque that of the $200 million loan given to Sri Lanka, an installment of $50 million had been settled. 

“Another installment is due later this month. We expect them to repay the loan in full within this year,” the spokesman had said.

Slowly recovering the worst-ever financial crisis since the independence in 1948, Sri Lanka sees overseas remittances are surging and coming out of the dollar crunch specially with the catching up of tourism, one of the main foreign income generators of the Indian Ocean island nation.

Meanwhile on Monday, Sri Lanka’s Department of Census and Statistics announced that the overall rate of inflation has dropped by almost 50 per cent to 4.6 per cent in July 2023 compared to the previous June which recorded 10.8 per cent. The inflation had dropped to a single digit after 21 months. (with inputs from Susitha Fernando/IANS/Xinhua)

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