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Trade deficit widens in Sri Lanka despite increased exports

Sri Lanka's trade deficit continued to widen in the first nine months of the year, despite an increase in exports, the Sunday Times' economic column noted.

Last year the trade deficit over the first nine months was US$ 6.1 billion, rising to US$ 6.8 billion this year. 

The deficit was expected to fall this year as export figures increased by 8.2 percent. However, despite this increase imports increased further by 9.7% percent. 

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Recent figures come amid increasing international calls on the Sri Lankan government to implement significant economic changes in order to tackle the country's debt burden and improve tax efficiency. 

Whilst the finance ministry's 2018 budget proposal was welcomed along with the Inland Revenue Act as steps towards implementation of such policies, opposition MPs have criticised the UNP led government's changes arguing that it would negatively impact local people.