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Brexit: Sri Lanka may face negative consequences across the board

In the wake of Britain’s exit from the European Union {EU}, Sri Lanka would face negative consequences across the board in many areas, according to the country’s economists and exporters.

Said Head of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts of the University of Colombo, Prof. Ven Bellanvila Wimalaratana, the Brexit, which he deemed was a divorce of sorts, which would cause an initial shock in the markets in the short term (one year to one and a half years to a maximum of two years), would locally directly adversely impact the currency market, trade including exports (including textiles), economic growth performance, investments including foreign direct investments (FDIs), tourism, and international aid and other support received by the country, thereby causing mostly negative implications.

Wimalaratana highlighted that while there were a number of Sri Lankans working in Britain and the countries of the EU and some were permanently settled there, their remittances too would be affected. While we are at present not receiving much in the way of FDIs, we may not be able to expect FDIs as much as we hoped we would, he remarked.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), Tully Cooray said that there would not be immediate changes but added that they were adopting a wait-and-watch approach. He said that they would have to request the UK for a fresh preferential system in the event the country decides to deviate from the current customary practices.