COLOMBO, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's exports to China grew 34.47 percent in August as a top official called on the island country to increase trade with Asian partners, Sri Lanka's Export Development Board (EDB) said on Saturday.
"Whilst appreciating that the U.S. and the EU are the largest markets, we need to now create a significant export market in Asia including China. The China FTA will certainly help in this regard," said EDB Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe.
"We also need to focus on export product and market diversification which is seriously lacking today," he said.
Sri Lanka's exports to China grew 34.47 percent in August due to increased sales of bulk tea, apparel and activated carbon. The country also saw an increase in exports to markets in Japan and Turkey.
However, the top five destinations for Sri Lankan exports this year include the United States, Britain, India, Germany and Italy, which together contributed over 50 percent of the island country's export revenue.
Sri Lanka's export revenue declined 19.2 percent to 947.7 million U.S. dollars year-on-year in August. However, the country's export revenue has stabilized at around 1 billion U.S. dollars for three consecutive months in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the EDB, the export of key products declined year-on-year, including 11.9 percent for apparel and textiles, 2.1 percent for rubber and finished rubber products, and 13.27 percent for tea.
Growth was seen in the exports of coconut products, spices and essential oils, electrical and electronic components, switches, boards and panels.
Sri Lanka's total export earnings from January to August 2020 amounted to 6.4 billion U.S. dollars, a decline of 19.2 percent compared to the same period last year.