Sri Lankan Rupees along with other emerging markets currencies have been on a roller coaster from the beginning of this year. A topic that is very much debated in the media and mainstream these days. Although many of the factors that contribute to the depreciation are mostly uncontrollable, we still tend to blame government institutions for such as failures. we can see different types of opinion from politicos and economists, however, what we failed to see is the opportunities lies within the depreciating rupee.
“Sri Lanka is largely affected by the devaluation rupee because of the debt trap it has got into. We would not have been affected by the devaluation issue if we did not get into a debt trap. We have to pay $ 3,000 million this year to settle debts while a sum of $ 4000 million has to be paid next year. Therefore one could see that what we inherited are past sins. What we have to do now is to overcome this situation,” – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Even though depreciating rupee certainly has some negative effects, but let’s not forget the positive things and the opportunities we have as citizens. These opportunities should be identified as early as possible and educated to everyone. It is important for us as citizens to understand the underlying reasons and opportunities that it creates and capitalize on them. Here are some that we can note.
Source – CBSL
1. Good for local producers for the local market as the cost of imported products goes up. So start a business that you produce something local or trade the locally produced goods.
2. Good for export businesses. Produce something for the export market.
“ Anyhow the current global crisis affects both the household economy and the national economy. We are fully aware of it. Some countries such as Thailand and Vietnam are not severely affected by the global economic crisis as they fully depend on exports,” – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
3. Partner with those who manufacture locally to export the goods to developed markets. Not all local manufacturers have the knowledge to export.
4. Use eBay/Amazon/Aliexpress to sell products to international market, learn how to set up your business and shipping methods to make it an effective business.
“Social consciousness of our high-income people is also important now; perhaps postpone by just a couple of months that new luxury car or that trip to Alaska. These will all help to cut the demand at the margin,” – State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr Harsha de Silva
5. Start professional services such as digital marketing, consultancy services, internet-based services etc for local and especially foreign businesses in Sri Lanka
7. Use Fiverr or Upwork for service exports for which you get paid by dollars
“My government also had a policy of producing whatever we could locally and reducing imports such as dairy products, maize, soya, sugar, onion, potato, fruits, vegetables, poultry and certain industrial products. This government, in contrast, believes in limitless liberalization and free trade without a clear strategy to increase exports and reduce imports,” – former president Mahinda Rajapaksa
8. Propose your friends and family who are working abroad to send USD to invest in Sri Lanka. Particularly into manufacturing and export businesses
9. Concentrate and develop tourism and inbound travel-based businesses. With such rupee depreciation, Sri Lanka becomes an even more affordable destination. Make use of it. Use Airbnb and other similar services to earn in dollars
10. If you have some funds, invest in Solar systems. The currency will more likely go up so is fuel.
This article is contributed by Sutharshanan Nagaratnam, a Chartered Marketer with an MBA with more than 10 years of experience in sales and marketing from local conglomerates to multinationals. He is also a Marketing Consultant and the founder of The Marketing Department, a small business marketing consultancy firm.
Additional words by Staff writer – advisor.lk