What is Sri Lanka’s overall export and import pattern?

Sri Lanka’s imports are highly dependent on the Asian counties. In 2019, Sri Lanka’s share of imports from the Asian Countries was as high as 81% of its total imports, while imports from the West/Western countries2 accounted for only 17%.
On the contrary, Sri Lanka’s export destinations are highly concentrated in the West/Western countries. In 2019, Sri Lanka’s exports to the West accounted for 62% while its exports to Asia represented only 31% of its total exports.

Will there be an impact on Sri Lanka’s exports from the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement?

Sri Lanka’s exports to the 05 main countries in the RECP will not be subject to immediate challenges as well as a noticeable challenge in China, Japan and Australia during the first 10 years from the RCEP competitive suppliers.
However, in the RCEP region, Sri Lanka exporters will gradually be exposed to compete in an uneven playing field where certain products of Sri Lankan origin will continue to be subject to import duties whereas exports of the RCEP member countries will be duty free immediately or gradually due to RECP concessions and pre-RCEP FTAs concluded in the region.

What is the level of export concentrations of Sri Lanka?

S. No 
Number of Tariff lines 
(in 6 digit level)
Cumulative export Value 
($ Mn) 
Cumulative export Value (%) 
1  1st Tariff line   654.19  6.6
 1st Five Tariff lines   2225.13  22.5
 1st Ten Tariff lines   3309.62  33.5
4 1st Twenty Tariff lines 4798.87 48.5
5 1st Fifty Tariff lines  6740.52 68.2
6  1st Hundred Tariff lines  8049.70 81.4

What is the level of import duties applicable for Sri Lankan exports to Malaysia?

Around 70% of Sri Lanka's current exports to Malaysia already have duty free access or very low duty. (0-5%). With regard to Sri Lanka's potential exports (based on export capacity) to world, major 80 tariff lines at 6 digit level either duty free in Malaysia at MFN level or apply very low duties (0-5)

Will there be an impact on Sri Lanka’s Exports to Australia due to UK-Australia FTA?

On 15 June 2021, Australia and UK had reached an agreement in principle on core elements of a free trade deal. In analytical and data driven perspective, US $ 77mn worth of 46 products are being threatened by the proposed FTA. (Current and potential)
However, threats from UK imports will not have immediate impacts on SL exports to Australia as it caters to different market segments as well as the price competitive.
More than UK, SL is currently facing threats from ASEAN, China imports in the country as Australia has FTAs with these countries and similar products are already supplied by these countries too. Further same threats from LDCs as they enjoy 0% duties on their exports to Australia under the Australian GSP Scheme, example all garments and textiles exports from SL is levied with 5% customs tariffs and from Bangladesh under GSP and all ASEAN & China under FTA it is 0% duties.  

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