The total share of t he Western Provinces’ contribution to Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product ( GDP) lowered slightly from 44.8% in 2010 to 44.4% last year, while the Northern Province emerged as the top GDP performer, the latest statistics from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka showed.
The lowered contribution of the Western Province is thought to be one of the first indicators of a reduction in disparities between the provinces as the effects of economic development start to take spread out of the Western Province, which traditionally makes up the majority of contributions to the total GDP.
The Southern Province made the second highest contribution at 11.1% of the total GDP, followed by the North Western Province at 10% and the Central Province with 9.8%.
The Northern Provinces’ share of the total GDP also recorded a minute increase from 3.4% to 3.7% last year.
Notably, the Northern Province also recorded the highest provincial GDP growth rate at 27.1%, up from 21.8%, with the second highest growth rate being recorded by the Southern Province at 21.4%, also an improvement over the previous year’s 17.7%.
A statement from the Central Bank credited the performance of the Northern Province to t he ongoing expansion of t he region’s agriculture, fishing, construction, transportation and financial services sectors, while citing increase in tourism activities as the key GDP driver for the Southern Province.
Growth rates in the Western Province also saw improvement with a recorded figure of 15.6% in 2011, up from 13.4% in the previous year. Improvements in the province were largely driven by developments in manufacturing and trade.
In total, the Western Province recorded a GDP of Rs.2.91 trillion of Sri Lanka’s total GDP of Rs.6.54 trillion.
The Western Province also recorded the highest per capita income by province at Rs.491,000 as compared with Rs.428,000. Whilst all other provinces recorded similar improvements to their per capita income levels, the disparity between the Western and the other provinces remained pronounced.
The second highest per capita income figure was in the Southern Province at Rs.289,000, followed by the North Western, North Central and Central and Eastern Provinces, while the Northern Province recorded the lowest per capita income at Rs.200,000.