Sri Lanka’s edible oil market has garnered considerable attention in recent weeks due to a series of events including the banning of palm oil imports in a bid to promote the local coconut industry and the detection of aflatoxins in imported coconut oil. The edible oil industry is important for Sri Lanka with oils and fats being a major constituent of the typical Sri Lankan diet and a raw material in manufacturing, the food manufacturing industry in particular. According to the latest available data, there are around 5,057 establishments employing 332,828 workers in the formal food manufacturing sector which generate an annual output of approximately LKR 1.4 billion. This blog assesses the local edible oil market and its potential for import substitution.
Although tax evasion by individuals and corporates has been recognised as a burning issue, especially in the context of Sri Lanka trying to increase its direct tax take, there is little empirical work on tax evasion for policymakers to make evidence-based decisions when setting tax rates. This is mostly due to limitations in the data. In her research, Harini Weerasekera attempts to measure ‘border tax evasion’, since export and import data is well recorded for the country, and can act as a source of measuring evasion that could be taking place at its border.
The much touted Sri Lanka – Singapore FTA was signed on 23 January 2018, marking a milestone moment in the trade and economic relations between the two islands. This blog analyses the key features of the FTA and the benefits Sri Lanka can reap from the partnership.
With the Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak’s visit to Sri Lanka, there has been a renewed interest in entering into a FTA with Malaysia. If such a FTA comes into fruition, how will it impact Sri Lanka’s trade? Preliminary estimates by IPS suggest that likely gains from bilateral trade liberalization in goods will be limited to few products, but there might be gains from other areas of cooperation, namely in investment flows to Sri Lanka.