With the end of the 30 year conflict in Sri Lanka has become a potential investment location for both international and local investors.
Strategically located on the major shipping routes of South Asia and the Far East, the island of Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the most attractive best investment locations in the South Asian Region.
Sri Lanka has positioned itself as the “Services & Trading hub” of the vast Indian subcontinent.
Today, Sri Lanka is ranked as the most liberalized economy in South Asia. Investors are provided with preferential tax rates, constitutional guarantees on investment agreements, exemptions from exchange control and 100% repatriation of profits. The safety of the foreign investment is guaranteed by the Constitution. An advance legal and regulatory framework exists, covering, for instance, intellectual property, settlement of disputes through arbitration, company law etc. Equal treatment is assured for foreign and local investors under the investment and general law of the country.
The economy has been benefited by policies that give freedom to the private sector, with low barriers to trade and investment. External trading relations have been strengthened with the expansion in bilateral, regional and multilateral trading arrangements.
The Sri Lankan work force accounts for 35% of the total population. Sri Lanka boasts high levels of education and the highest literacy rate in South Asia (92%). Approximately 50% of the students who have completed their higher education are trained in technical and business disciplines. English is widely spoken in the country and is the main language used by the business community.
Private and public investment programmes have been implemented to improve the country’s basic infrastructure facilities. Today, Sri Lanka’s infrastructure ranks as the best available in South Asia. The government is actively encouraging private sector investment in infrastructure on the basis of BOO (Build, Operate and Own) and BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer). Currently there are private investment projects in power, ports, water sanitation, transportation (highways and rail) and IT.
The specific incentives granted to foreign investment include tax holidays or preferential tax rates, exemptions from customs duty and foreign exchange controls and remain valid for the entire life of the enterprise.
Bilateral investment agreements supported by a constitutional guarantee, provides strong protection for foreign investment in Sri Lanka.
High Quality of Life: Sri Lanka offers a variety of educational facilities ranging from public and private educational establishments to international schools following British and American curricula. The best secondary schools are of a very high standard. Annually a large number of Sri Lankan students enter top rated universities such as the Ivy League Colleges schools n the US, and top Universities such Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.
Sri Lanka has a number of well-equipped public and private hospitals located throughout the country.
Sri Lanka offers a wide variety of entertainment from its theatre and movies to the nightclubs and casinos, which are located throughout the capital city, Colombo. Numerous restaurants, cafes and pubs offer a range of both western and eastern cuisines.
Sri Lanka being a multi-religious, multi-ethnic country, has a number of public holidays.
Sri Lanka is also a founder member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). This provides further safeguards against expropriation and non-commercial risk. Investors may also refer disputes for arbitration under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on Sri Lanka’s investment and trade, please visit the following Web sites:
Sri Lanka Board of Investments : www.boi.lk
Sri Lanka Export Development Board : www.srilankabusiness.com
National Chamber of Commerce : www.nccsl.lk
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce : www.chamber.lk
Sri Lankan Trade Portal : www.srilanka.com