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SL Government to attract over USD 13 billion foreign receipts in 2023

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is expected to attract over USD 13 billion foreign receipts this year, governor Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said.

He noted that the main contributing factor towards this would be foreign remittances by Sri Lankan workers overseas which are expected to touch over USD 10 billion this year. “Sri Lanka is currently getting around USD 500 million a month as foreign remittances.”

The Governor said that with the tourism sector opening up Sri Lanka also expected to attract around USD 2.3 billion foreign receipts from tourism. Export and other earnings too would pass the USD one billion mark.

The Governor also said that they also expect to increase the foreign reserves from the current USD 3.8 billion to around USD 10 billion in the future.

Sri Lanka’s remittances coming through official channels went up to $517.4 million in October 2023, up 46 percent from $355.4 million a year earlier, as more expatriates send their earnings due to improved exchange rate after better monetary policy.

However official remittances are down for the fourth month in a row.Sri Lanka’s external sector started to stabilize in September 2022, when the central bank started to run balance of payments surpluses after ending money printing to sterilize interventions made with Indian Asian Clearing Union money.

Worker remittances coming through official channels fell in 2021 which could not be paid for by the banking system at the official rate as money was printed to sterilize interventions and keep a policy rate down, triggering parallel exchange rates, which were settled outside the formal banking system.

From April 2022 rates were raised by unprecedented levels, slowing credit and the need to print money to keep rates down.

In the first 10 months of this year, Sri Lanka received $4,862.5 million from official channels, up 66 percent from $ 2,929.4 million in the same period in 2022.

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