Global Finance Integrity, an intelligence agency of the United States of America, which investigates foreign export trade, has reported that a huge amount of 3600 million dollars (36 billion dollars) earned from Sri Lanka’s exports has been deposited in foreign banks.
The agency has also stated that the central bank or the authorities have not yet acted to bring this money to Sri Lanka.
Although the report does not mention the income from exports and the number of offshore entities where they are deposited, it states that this situation was identified after extensive analysis of data from Sri Lankan customs, export documents and import documents of foreign countries.
According to the ‘Daily Mirror’ newspaper, US$ 36 billion is more than a third of Sri Lanka’s economy. Sri Lanka currently has an economy of about 81 billion dollars. In spite of this, the reason why the exporters refrain from bringing this money to Sri Lanka is that when all the foreign money received from the export is sent to Sri Lanka, according to the existing law, those dollars must be converted into Sri Lanka Rupees through the banks of this country.
It is further reported that the exporters are keeping their foreign funds in foreign banks due to the suspicion that they will not be able to get foreign exchange to import raw materials again after converting the foreign exchange into rupees.