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FOREIGN EXCHANGE | Cesar Tordesillas, India

Sri Lanka expects foreign inflows to increase

Sri Lanka experienced positive first quarter foreign exchange earnings leading it to expect increased inflows this year.

According to the Sri Lankan Central Bank's data, tourist arrivals in April 2012 increased by 9 percent to 69,591, with arrivals during the first four months amounting to 330,116, reflecting a growth of 18.3 percent.

"Earnings from tourism in April 2012 grew at a healthy rate of 15.8 percent to 72 million U.S. dollars compared to the corresponding month of 2011 and by 25.7 percent during the first four months of 2012 to 340 million U.S. dollars," the Central Bank said.

Workers' remittances amounted to 475 million U.S. dollars in April 2012, recording a year-on-year growth of 14.5 percent compared to 415 million U.S. dollars in April 2011.

Cumulative inflows on account of workers' remittances amounted to 1,968 million U.S. dollars during the first four months of 2012, recording an increase of 16.6 percent.

Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment amounted to 313 million U. S. dollars by end May 2012.

Sri Lanka's total international reserves grew to 7,258 million U.S. dollars. In terms of months of imports, gross official reserves and total international reserves by end April 2012 were equivalent to 3.3 months and 4.2 months, respectively.

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