An Overview of Sri Lanka's Trade Policy
Sri Lanka has been practicing an open economic policy since 1977. The economy has been growing steadily during the past few years with a rate of over 8% in 2014. GDP growth remains one of the healthiest in the region at 7.3% with per capita income at USD 3,191 in 2013. The country also has a high literacy rate of 95.6% and an unemployment rate of 4.4%.
The main exports are textiles and apparel, tea and spices, rubber products, precious stones, coconut products and fish. Sri Lanka is world famous for tea and overseas employment of Sri Lankans is also a significant contributor to the economy. Key imports include petroleum, textiles, machinery and transportation equipment, building materials, mineral products, foodstuffs. Sri Lanka's main markets include USA, UK, Japan, China, India and the Middle East. Among the main import markets are Japan, India, UK, USA, among others.
Sri Lanka has signed Free Trade Agreements with India, Pakistan and China. It is also a member of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), APTA, BIMSTEC and a member of the G-15.
Sri Lanka has been successfully moving towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and has achieved halving poverty, gender equality and education goals.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and particularly its Department of Commerce, is tasked with Sri Lanka's trade policy, implantation and promotion, especially overseas.
For more information please visit the following websites:
Ministry of Industry and Commerce: www.industry.gov.lk
Department of Commerce: www.doc.gov.lk
Why Invest in Sri lanka
Sri Lanka has one of strongest economies in the South Asian region, with a growth rate of over 8% in 2014. Strategically located in the Indian Ocean, with a large and dynamic services sector, an educated and skilled workforce, excellent infrastructure and global connectivity, Sri Lanka is an ideal destination for the foreign investor. The country is also fast emerging as an air, maritime, energy, knowledge and commercial hub in the region.
The Government of Sri Lanka has put in place several regulations to promote and protect foreign investment, including total foreign ownership in almost all areas of the economy. There are no restrictions on repatriation of earnings and the safety of foreign investment is guaranteed under the constitution. There is also a sophisticated and transparent legal framework in place. Sri Lanka has signed 28 bilateral investment protection agreements and 38 agreements on the avoidance of double taxation. Free trade agreements with India, Pakistan and recently with China, also provides access to these large markets.
Sri Lanka's export processing zones and industrial parks have been a linchpin in the industrial development and inflow of foreign direct investment into Sri Lanka. The country's economic development zones are seen as benchmarks of successful implementation of zone development strategies.
Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean is an added incentive for the investor, as it is situated in one of the world’s most important and busiest maritime routes. The country is also well connected by air. The Government has heavily invested in infrastructure and energy. Yet, Sri Lanka is also mindful of environmental protection and sustainable development.
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) is the key institution regarding the promotion of investment and the one stop shop for all potential investors to Sri Lanka.
For further information regarding investing in Sri Lanka, please visit the BOI website on. www.investsrilanka.com
The Government of Sri Lanka, which has embarked on an ambitious economic growth program, has decided to conduct an International Trade Fair (CRT) for the benefit of global players in Coconut, Rubber and Tea industries value chains. The CRT, which is scheduled to be held from 11th to 13th August 2017 in Colombo, will be organized by the Ministry of Plantation Industries (MPI). The venue will be the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) which is the best location for conduct of international events of this nature.
The CRT will be a world class event with facilities for global value chain players in coconut, rubber and tea industries to meet, network, interact, share and learn latest knowledge pertaining to all aspects of their respective industry operations. Participants will have access to industry information which relates to markets, technological aspects, production processes and products. The event will be designed to facilitate free flow of information among participants with unrestricted interactions aided by innovative ICT practices. Any participant, both local and foreign, will enjoy numerous benefits. It will also provide a transparent global market opportunity for all types of coconut, rubber and tea based products and allied services offered by participants.
The participants at the CRT - 2017 would include,
- machinery and equipment suppliers,
- technology and knowledge providers,
- suppliers of materials including chemicals,
- distributors and marketers,
- CRT producers and value added products manufacturers.
For further information on this major event, please visit www.crttradefair2017.com.
Chairman, Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (CAPC) on behalf of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) invites eligible process licensers of reformer process units to express their interest in providing the services to carry out a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for a new Continuous Catalyst Regeneration (CCR) type reformer unit for producing high octane gasoline from heavy naphtha feed stock to be installed at the “Sapugaskanda” oil Refinery of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Sri Lanka. Further, the same party is expected to carry out FEED studies for revamping of the existing Crude Distiller and Gas Oil Hydrotreater units at the Refinery to increase their capacities.
For further information see here.
The Colombo Tea Traders Association which is the apex body for the Tea trade will be organizing the Colombo International Tea Convention from 9th – 11th August 2017 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel Colombo. It will begin with the FAO Inter Governmental Group on the 7th and 8th August 2017.
The target audience for this event are tea manufacturers, exporters and suppliers from all over the world. The programme is as follows:
08th August 2017 – Welcome Cocktail
09th August 2017 – Opening Ceremony and Sessions at BMICH & Presidents Tea Party
10th August 2017 – Sessions and Gala Dinner at Cinnamon Grand Hotel
11th August 2017 – Sessions at Cinnamon Grand, Beach Party at Mount Lavinia Hotel
For further information on this major event on Tea, please visit www.ceylonteaevents.com.
WEDF is a unique global conference and business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking platform dedicated to supporting trade-led development.
As the flagship event of the International Trade Centre (ITC), WEDF brings together over 600 business leaders, policy-makers, heads of trade and investment support institutions and international trade development officials to address international competitiveness for developing countries.
This 16th edition of WEDF is co-hosted by ITC and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka, through the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB).
Meet us in Sri Lanka for high-level panel discussions, practical workshops and B2B meetings to:
• Get the latest on consumer trends, business strategies and trade policies to navigate today’s trade environment;
• Connect with experts on trade issues such as standards, trade facilitation and logistics;
• Find solutions to overcome key trade barriers and increase competitiveness;
• Sign new business deals with partners from Sri Lanka and around the world.
The 24th International Gem and Jewellery exhibition is scheduled to be held between 4th August to 7th September at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre, Colombo. For more information please follow this link. Brochures are available at the Mission.