According to official data in the 2011 fiscal policy statement, the projected rise in export earningsÂ will be sustained by the growth in agriculture, mining and manufacturing whose export receipts are also expected to increase by 15,5 %, 30,6 % and 16,9 %.
The information shows thatÂ imports have however increased significantly by 32,9 % in the first 6 months of this year from US$2,6 billion in 2010 to US$3,4 billionÂ last year. The increase in imports is being attributed to the influx of cheap imports of clothing and textiles, motor vehicles and machinery as well as rising crude oil prices.
Fiscal authorities revealed that trade balance during the period under review slightly widened from US$1, 3 billion in 2010 to US$1, 4 billion dollars in 2011 as imports grew faster than exports.
The widening of the trade balance is being attributed to fewer exports as a result of depressed economic activities during the beginning of this year.
But Government says the trade balance is projected to improve in 2011 although it has a deficit of US$1, 5 billion compared to US$1, 8 billion by December last year.