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Indian Subcontinent >> Sri Lanka >> Business and Economy of Sri Lanka

Busines and Economy of Sri Lanka

One of the more swiftly developing countries of the Third World, the Sri Lankan economy was mainly based on agricultural products like tea, rubber and spices. However, in the past few decades, two other industries have gathered strength: textiles and garments and tourism. Both these industries, coupled with tea, of which Sri Lanka is one of the world’s most formidable producers, bring in export earnings that contribute majority to the nation’s income. Increasing privatisation and growing foreign investment have also helped boost the economy, although life for rural dwellers continues to be more or less at the subsistence level.

Some facts:

GDP: US$ 92.09 billion

GDP per head: US$ 4,400

Annual Growth rate (GDP): 6%

Inflation: 22.6%

Major Industries: Textiles, Garments, tea, gems, rubber & tourism

Major trading Partners: US, UK, Japan, South Korea, China & India

Business Guide

Business Hours: Generally 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, though some offices may work on Saturday as well, till around 1. Shops stay open till about 7pm between Monday and Friday, and till about 3pm on Saturdays. Banks open between 9 and 1 or 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Business Guide: Business dress can be formal or casual. Light weight suits and shirts and trousers do fine for the warmer months. Language isn’t a problem as English is widely spoken in business circles. Appointments are necessary and it is considered polite to arrive punctually. It is usual to exchange visiting cards on first meetings. For more information, check with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, Level Three, 53 Vauxhall Lane, Colombo 2 (tel: (1) 230 4253; fax: (1) 230 4254/5); or Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, 50 Navam Mawatha, Colombo 2 (tel: (1) 245 2183 or 242 1745 or 232 9143; fax: (1) 243 7477 or 244 9352)

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