The UK's Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) has increased its exposure limit to 200 million pounds sterling from 150 million pounds in 2009 as more British firms are eager to do business with Sri Lanka. Several British firms such as Maybe and Johnson are doing business in the island at present. Maybe & Johnson was involved in the infrastructure projects including the construction of the Sangupiddy Bridge in the North Western Province, with UK government support.
British firms are exploring the possibility of undertaking infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka with the end of conflict in the island, said Olwen Renowden, country risk analyst at ECGD when she addressed a press conference at the British High Commission in Colombo on Wednesday. The ECGD is the country's official export credit agency, which provides services such as insuring UK exporters against non payment by their overseas buyers, helping overseas buyers to purchase goods and/or services from UK exporters by guaranteeing bank loans to finance those purchases; and insuring UK investors in overseas markets against political risks.
The ECDG has already provided guarantees for British firms operating in Sri Lanka and the agency has received inquiries from several firms to start ventures valued at around 250 million pounds sterling here in Sri Lanka, Ms Renowden said.
The UK is Sri Lanka's second largest trading partner with the trade deficit in favour of Sri Lanka. The island nation's exports were US$ 1 billion and its imports from UK were around US $ 200 million last year alone.