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Sri Lanka’s exports to China, Hong Kong declined: Expert

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 27 Dec 2021, 06:46 am Print

Sri Lanka’s exports to China, Hong Kong declined: Expert Sri Lanka | China

Image: Representational image by GarmentsWithoutGuilt on Flickr via Wikimedia Creative Commons

Colombo, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s trade with China, including tea shipments, has moved downward in 2020, experts said.

Separately, its meager bilateral trade with wealthy Hong Kong, a world leading trade and financial services centre, has fallen sharply in the five years to 2020, writes Kapila Bandara in The Sunday Times.

Sri Lanka’s exports to China in 2020 have dropped to US$223m, from US$229.06m in 2019, and down from US$230.59m in 2018, data from Sri Lanka Customs, Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Export Development Board show, he wrote.

Out of Sri Lanka’s total trade, China accounted for just 2.22% in 2020, compared with the United States absorbing 24.9%, the UK taking up 9.06% and Germany buying 5.68% of goods.

Sri Lanka’s biggest trade imbalance is with China at a negative US$3.35b in 2020.

Imports from China have swelled to US$3.57b compared with just US$223m goods China buys from Sri Lanka. Trade data does not show any purchases of fruit from Sri Lanka, the writer said.

He said the worsened trade picture reflects the foreign debt binge that began with the Mahinda Rajapaksa government issuing Sri Lanka’s first international sovereign bond of US$500 million in 2007 at a fixed annual coupon of 8.25%, and which inevitably birthed the ‘economic Halloween’ that scared the life out of Sri Lankans, thousands of whom are leaving.