The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce welcomes the move to ease the rule on repatriation of export earnings, increased from the earlier 90 days to 120 days now, as formalised by a recently issued Gazette notification. As the Chamber had pointed out in its representations to the Government when it was first announced in April, this rule hurts Sri Lanka’s export competitiveness, compromises export orders and complicates international trade transactions. It will also be inconsistent with Wickremesinghe’s stated vision of making Sri Lanka more open and flexible to international trade and financial flows. While maintaining this rule in any form is still rather restrictive, and this compulsory repatriation rule should be a temporary measure, the increase in the number of days from 90 to 120, with an additional 30-day grace period, helps to give exporters some breathing space, the Chamber said. This is especially important at a time when Sri Lanka’s export performance is flagging, with a 5.6% decline in the first seven months of this year, compared to the same period last year. The Chamber reiterated that the sustainable strategy to raise export earnings should be based on enhancing competitiveness through innovation, and through export-oriented trade, investment and macroeconomic policies.