SRI LANKA UPDATE | 11 – 17 AUGUST 2023
International Monetary Fund (IMF) team due to arrive in Sri Lanka in September – A delegation from the IMF is slated to travel to Sri Lanka between September 14 until September 27, 2023. The team is scheduled to come to perform the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement for Sri Lanka’s initial evaluation. Sri Lanka’s four-year EFF arrangement was approved in March by the IMF Executive Board. The country received the first tranche of USD 330 million subsequently.
Sri Lanka remittances reach USD 541 million in July 2023 – According to data from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), worker remittances to Sri Lanka increased 93 per cent YoY to USD 541 million in July 2023, which was also an increase from USD 475.7 million in June.
New Department for Cinnamon Development amidst fiscal considerations – Realising the export potential of cinnamon in boosting foreign exchange revenue, the Government is to create a new Department for Cinnamon Development. The proposed department will provide growers, suppliers, and exporters engaged in cinnamon-related operations with an expanse of resources and assistance. The Cabinet of Ministers adopted the joint proposal suggested by President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Minister of Plantation Industries, who stated that by promoting cinnamon as a successful commercial crop, value chains will be improved, foreign exchange revenues will increase, and the country’s position in the world market will be strengthened.
First 10 days of August draw over 51,000 tourists – Sri Lanka welcomed more than 51,500 tourists in the first ten days of August this year, adding fillip to its monthly goal of 149,075 visitors. 51,594 tourists arrived in the country in those ten days, with 35,775 arriving during the first week and 15,819 during the final three days. The initial 10-day arrivals have also increased the overall total to 819,507. The Minister of Tourism expressed confidence in achieving two million visitors by the end of 2023.
Consumer Affairs Authority collects over LKR 132.6 million in 1H 2023 – Through investigations performed during 1H of 2023, the Consumer Affairs Authority successfully collected more than LKR 132.6 million. The Consumer Affairs Authority highlighted its continuous dedication to protecting consumer interests by revealing that 18 significant raids were implemented in July. These activities addressed numerous problems including incorrect price displays, the selling of goods above the allowed price ranges and the sale of products past their expiration dates.
Politics & Policy:
Cabinet nod for National Tourism Policy – The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) announced that the National Tourism Policy has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. The policy will be officially announced soon. This will be a significant milestone in the nation’s attempts to develop its tourism industry. The SLTDA Chairman mentioned that the National Tourism Policy is a roadmap for the industry’s dynamic and sustainable expansion. Notably, the strategy is anticipated to play a crucial part in guaranteeing the sector’s sustainability and resilience and to give it a clear path for development over the next two years.
Government to relax import restrictions on public transportation vehicles – The government is to relax import limitations previously implemented for vehicles meant for use in public transit. The State Minister of Finance reaffirmed that the goal was to make it easier to improve the nation’s public transportation system. He explained that vehicles used for goods and people transportation including buses, trucks, lorries and other heavy vehicles will be subject to the easing of import restrictions.
Intellectual Committee to pave the way for National Productivity Commission – The formation of an Intellectual Committee to craft the planned National Productivity Commission’s structure, legal foundation and operational specifics gained the approval from the Cabinet of Ministers. The Commission wants to increase productivity potential while ensuring that economic reforms produce long-term, sustainable benefits for all sectors. Despite the fact that productivity is widely acknowledged to be important, there is no formal authority to deal with productivity- related concerns. The National Productivity Commission would fill this gap. The independent institution will be crucial in developing regulations based on data from studies and tackling the complex issues relating to productivity.
The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) paves way to boost Sri Lanka and Egypt trade relations – COYLE convened a special forum to discuss the way forward to increase bilateral trade between Egypt and Sri Lanka to an ambitious goal of USD 40 million by 2024. The forum was centered on COYLE’s goal to fostering strong business ties with Egypt, stressing the possibilities for shared prosperity and highlighting its commitment to doing so. The Egyptian Ambassador praised COYLE’s initiative to improve economic ties and emphasized Egypt’s desire to increase trade and commercial ties with Sri Lanka.
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This Advisory, written for our partners interested in developments in Sri Lanka against the backdrop of the current crisis, is an update on the one issued last week. This document summaries developments covering significant political and economic events. The Advisory includes economic, political, social and governance perspectives. It draws on news reports, analyses, Government announcements and documents, and from other sources that we may be in contact with or have access to.
This Advisory was prepared by the Strategic Communications Unit of Adfactors PR Lanka. For inquiries, contact email@example.com