Sri Lanka, one of the world's largest natural coir exporters, has received a boost from the United States to increase its earnings, a statement from the Industry and Commerce Ministry said on Monday.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has waived its restrictions on use of foreign coir mats in the United States for Sri Lanka, the ministry said in the statement.
It said the general restrictions on foreign coir mats have been imposed under the "Buy American requirements", but the U.S. has specifically allowed Sri Lankan mats for two selected projects in Ohio to restore riverbanks.
Sri Lanka produces 35 percent of the world's natural coir output. Almost all the coir fiber produced are natural with no synthetic fiber produced. Over 90 percent of coir exports are in raw form.
The raw coir is exported mainly to UK, France, Germany, India and China, the statement added.
According to the Export Development Board, the export revenue from coir based products and raw coir in 2011 reached 91 million U. S. dollars.
Around 200 coir mills are in operation in rural Sri Lanka mostly operating in primitive working conditions with outdated technology.