India has emerged as Sri Lanka's top import source during the first five months of this year, the Central Bank said here today.
India was followed by China, Japan, UAE and Singapore. These nations accounted for 60 per cent of the total imports of Sri Lanka which amounts to USD 1,585 million. The country wise breakdown of foreign trade was not given.
"Total import expenditure in May 2015 increased for the second consecutive month recording a significant increase of 17.2 per cent, year-on-year, to USD 1,585 million led by vehicle imports, which include personal motor vehicles categorised under consumer goods and commercial vehicles categorised under investment goods," the bank said.
The import of motor vehicles has increased over 87 per cent year on year, while the import of transport equipment has increased by over 177 per cent year on year, mainly due to the increase in autorickshaws, it said.
Indian companies like Maruti and Bajaj dominate Sri Lanka's passenger car and autoricshaw markets.
Meanwhile, earnings from exports further moderated in May 2015 to US dollars 883 million, recording a marginal decline of 0.1 per cent, year-on-year, the bank said.
Despite the significant improvement recorded in exports of textile and garments, lower performance in tea, Economic Research Department sea food and gem, diamond and jewellery exports contributed to this decline, it added.
India once again was among the top five sources of tourist arrivals in May 2015 followed by China, UK, Germany and France.