In 2018, the EDB has launched its five-year national export strategy (NES), which focuses on four pillars: export diversification; Harness geostrategic advantages to become an efficient shopping and logistics centre; Strengthening entry and compliance practices for aussrimic exporters; Establish a transparent, predictable and operational policy and regulatory framework. Protect and promote Sri Lanka`s economic, trade and trade interests in multilateral for a, ensuring effective representation and participation in discussions and negotiations at all levels (i.e. decision-making and technical negotiations) within the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in cooperation with like-minded WTO member states to develop common positions on issues of major interest to Sri Lanka. As a developing economy without commercial oil and gas resources, increased fuel imports have pushed Sri Lanka`s trade deficit to new heights. While Brent crude oil prices fell to about $51 per barrel at the end of the year, the price of oil peaked at more than $85 in October, leading to a 28.9% increase in fuel imports. In the meantime, exports are mainly intermediate and industrial goods, as well as raw materials such as tea, rubber, minerals and metals. The main local products are textiles and clothing. Trade and investment activities in Sri Lanka are benefiting from the country`s situation along the busy Indian Ocean trade routes, numerous agricultural and industrial exports, and young and skilled labour. Only 19 km separate their southernest port from a global shipping route that carries two-thirds of the world`s oil and half of its container transport. This makes local ports a natural cargo station for India and Pakistan, with about 30% of container traffic from former ports currently being transloaded through Sri Lanka. In the meantime, the DoC formulates foreign trade policy and promotes bilateral, regional and multilateral trade relations under four subdivisions: multilateral trade issues, bilateral trade relations, regional cooperation and trade promotion.
This gives the division a key role in international trade negotiations with bodies such as the World Trade Organization and the EU. The DoC is also responsible for the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of free trade agreements, preferential trade agreements and comprehensive economic partnership agreements. the organisation of training programmes/workshops with foreign resources in Colombo and regional cities on topics related to new developments in international trade and WTO agreements. In addition to promoting direct resources, Sri Lanka encourages exports and trade liberalization. It enjoys a status of Generalized Preference System (GSP) with the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, Australia and Turkey and GSP status in the EU (see analysis). In addition, the country is a signatory to the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA), the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, the Global System of Trade Preferences between Developing Countries, the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement and SAFTA. The Lanka-Singapore free trade agreement was also signed in 2018, but further changes are likely to be made before it enters into force (see analysis). Conduct negotiations to ensure market access by obtaining tariff concessions under non-reciprocal preferential trade agreements, i.e. generalized preferential preferential regimes (GsPs) for Sri Lanka`s exports. Only for competent expatriates, consultants, specialists and their relatives employed in liaison offices, branches or foreign companies, other commercial and commercial enterprises, taking into account the immediate benefits of these jobs related to export trade, technology transfer and improving the productivity of the economy, etc.
The Ministry of Development Strategies