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Increase in import expenditure outpaces rise in export earnings



The CBSL publishes a ‘Monthly Trade Bulletin’ with further information on merchandise trade performance, which can be viewed at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka website under Statistics > Economic Indicators > Monthly Trade Bulletin.

Extracts of CBSL External Sector Performance – August 2021

Increased financial inflows bolstered Gross Official Reserves (GOR) during the month of August 2021, while merchandise exports exceeded US dollars 1.0 billion for the third consecutive month. However, the increase of import expenditure outpaced the increase of export earnings, resulting in an expansion of the trade deficit, compared to a year earlier. Tourist arrivals gathered some momentum in August 2021, recording a notable increase over the previous month, although the numbers remained low.

A moderation of workers’ remittances was observed in August 2021. Sri Lanka received the allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of the general SDR allocation in 2021. Further, initial disbursements under the bilateral currency swap arrangement between the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Bangladesh Bank were received during August 2021. The average spot exchange rate in the interbank market remained broadly stable in August 2021, while pressures on the exchange rate were observed towards the end of the month, prompting the Central Bank to intervene in the foreign exchange market to stabilise the rupee.

Trade Balance and Terms of Trade

Trade Balance: The deficit in the trade account widened on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis to US dollars 586 million in August 2021, compared to the deficit of US dollars 342 million recorded in August 2020. The cumulative deficit in the trade account from January to August 2021 also widened to US dollars 5,509 million from US dollars 3,812 million in the corresponding period of 2020. The major contributory factors that contributed to the widening of the trade deficit are shown in Figure 1.

Terms of Trade: Terms of trade, i.e., the ratio of the price of exports to the price of imports, deteriorated by 19.2 per cent in August 2021, compared to August 2020, as the increase in import prices surpassed the increase in export prices.

Performance of Merchandise Exports1

Overall exports: Earnings from exports in August 2021 grew by 16.2 per cent over August 2020 to reach US dollars 1,100 million, reaching the highest level of exports recorded in a month of August. Earnings from exports were marginally higher at US dollars 1,104 million in July 2021. Cumulative export earnings increased by 22.6 per cent during January-August 2021, amounting to US dollars 7,903 million, compared to US dollars 6,445 million recorded in the corresponding period in 2020. However, the recent gap of around US dollars 345 million per month, on average, between the merchandise outflow and the financial inflow related to such exports has been a matter of concern.

Industrial exports: Earnings from the export of industrial goods increased by 17.5 per cent in August 2021, compared to August 2020. This increase was due to a broad-based increase in earnings from most of the industrial products led by textiles and garments; petroleum products; rubber products; food, beverages and tobacco; and machinery and mechanical appliances. Export of garments to all major markets increased. Earnings from the export of petroleum products increased with the increase in prices of aviation and bunker fuel and the increase in volumes of bunker fuel exports. Increase in earnings from tyres and gloves led to higher earnings from rubber products.

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Exterminators PLC certified as great place to work



Travis Ferreira, Executive Director, ‘Extermina tors PLC’, receiving the certificate from the GPTW team

Exterminators PLC announces that it has been certified as a Great Place to Work for the second year in a row. This achievement reaffirms our commitment to creating an environment that fosters learning, development, and success for our staff members. The certification was awarded after an independent audit and certification process conducted by the renowned organisation Great Place to Work (GPTW), which evaluated our company across various focus areas. Exterminators PLC excelled in the Trust Index, scoring high points in all focus areas during the certification process.

“The challenges we faced over the past twelve months were unprecedented. We are proud of our coworkers, who kept our business operating without interruption by working collaboratively and courageously and leaning on our collective creativity, innovation, and passion. Our slogan was ‘How can we’ keep the promise we made? and we constantly innovated to get the job done, no matter how difficult it was.

We are grateful to our coworkers who collaborated with us during these most challenging times and for their pure commitment and loyalty towards Exterminators PLC, which kept us moving forward despite unprecedented obstacles.” Marlon Ferreira the Managing Director said.

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SLT-MOBITEL mTunes introduces ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo



Bringing elevated lifestyle experiences, SLT-MOBITEL is offering users the ultimate chance to turn music into wealth with its new ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo on mTunes.mTunes is a digital lifestyle service that allows customers to personalise their Caller Ring Back Tone (CRBT) with their favourite songs or audio content. It adds a unique and personalised touch to phone calls, allowing customers to express their originality and preferences with their loved ones.

With a vast collection of songs on the mTunes platform, the ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo offers users the opportunity to connect with their hearts’ content and win big cash prizes. From September 1st to November 30th, 2023, the ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo on mTunes promises incredible prizes for lucky participants. The grand prize is an amazing Rupees One million (Rs. 1,000,000) with additional rewards of Rs. 100,000 for the second winner and Rs. 50,000 for the third place. But the path to wealth does not end; seven more lucky winners will receive Rs. 10,000 each, and every week, there will be twelve lucky winners of Rs. 10,000 each in cash prizes.

Participating in the promotion is easy. Existing and new CRBT users have the chance to win these fantastic prizes, including becoming millionaires, by simply activating more mTunes during the promotional period. With multiple cash prizes available, there are numerous opportunities to win every week. The ‘Be a Millionaire’ promotion is a golden opportunity to make dreams come true.

Users can increase their chances of winning by simply activating more mTunes daily. Users can also experience the fun, excitement, and entertainment offered by mTunes and enjoy the world of music.

For more information, contact mTunes at 777 or visit

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Lanka can build strong tourism ‘eco-brand’: UN official



United Nations Resident Representative to Sri Lanka, Azusa Kobota


ECONOMYNEXT –Sri Lanka can build an ‘eco-brand’ catering especially to younger tourists who feel strongly about the environment, United Nations Resident Representative to Sri Lanka, Azusa Kobota said.

About 70 percent of global travellers prioritise sustainability in their holiday choices, marking a ten percent increase from 2021, while around 30 percent of travellers feel guilty about flying, due to carbon emissions, she said.

“As the world embraces green thinking during this time of economic recovery efforts, the objective of the tourism sector cannot simply be about increasing the number of inbound tourists,” Kobota said at an event marking World Tourism Day in Colombo.

“It has to be about enhancing their experience through green lenses, by implementing a responsible, eco-conscious paradigm for the sector and building a stronger eco-brand around the sustainable agenda for Sri Lanka,”

“This is no longer about reducing the trade offs between growing the industry and protecting the environment.

“We must see nature as our asset and solutions to be obtained for the exponential growth for our future generations.”

The sustainable tourism market is estimated to have earned 195 billion US dollars in 2022, and is expected to reach about 656 billion US dollars in 2032, she said.

“Tourists, particularly the younger generations from gen X,Y,Z are deeply, deeply conscious about the long term choices of their actions, and the adverse impact of tourists on the environment.

“Statistics show that a significant proportion of global travellers, about 30 percent, feel guilty about flying due to the environmental impact and 22 percent say they actively prefer public transport and bicycle rental options, over renting a car.”

Sri Lanka welcomed one million tourists by September 26 and is expecting more that 1.5 million tourists by the end of the year.

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