The Garment trade has been an important foreign exchange earner for Sri Lanka. However, the country has not diversified enough on the economic front and now lags behind many Asian nations in trade.

The hospitality and food service sector recorded the highest economic losses in terms of revenue, foreign exchange earnings and investment as result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey conducted by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) shows.

The recently launched survey dubbed ‘An Initial Assessment of The Impact of Covid-19 on Employers’ further revealed that the worst hit were the small and medium scale businesses and boniness entities serving both domestic and foreign markets.

“Exporters employing more than 250 employees lost all their earnings. This reflects Covid-19’s impact on exports. Since large scale companies account for about 95 per cent of total export earnings, the impact on the balance of trade will be devastating,” it warned.

The survey found that respondents recognized ‘workforce protection’ as a key coping strategy at organizational level and work-from-home as the second important measure, while income support for low-income workers was the thirst important policy measure that was identified.

Worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic is the small and medium enterprises sector with job losses as high as 74 per cent.

“Sri Lanka’s private formal sector employs around 3.5 million workers and plays a pivotal role in the economy, promoting growth, earning foreign exchange, developing skills, and transferring technology,” the newly released report stated adding that the private formal sector can generate decent job growth in a sustainable way than the public sector.


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