Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and other business opportunities.
Sri Lanka is a lower middle-income country with a sizeable middle class that seeks U.S. and Western products and services. The country has significant infrastructure needs in public transportation, ports, public housing, water, and power projects. Due to its unsustainable public debt loads, the government has mandated all development initiatives will be on a build-own-operate-transfer basis with no debt capital-funded projects. As a hub for tourism, Sri Lanka also requires a range of services and high-end products. Sri Lanka also seeks to position itself as a logistics and technology hub for the region, which creates an opportunity for information technology equipment and services exports. Priority sectors include:
- Infrastructure Development: Engineering, construction and equipment products and services for road, power plants, sewage, water, rail, port, and airport projects.
- Real Estate and Construction: The country’s construction sector was a key economic driver, however the economic crisis has stalled progress on many projects.
- Textiles: Sri Lanka imports approximately $2.8 billion of textiles and yarn annually for the apparel industry and requires a range of equipment and services.
- Agriculture: A growing need for wheat grain, lentils, cotton yarn, and fruits; and development of agriculture-related infrastructure, including cold-storage facilities. However, the economic crisis has greatly restricted imports of most of these products.
- Telecommunications and Technology: Sri Lanka aims to become an information technology hub and 5G trials are already underway. In addition, the Government of Sri Lanka and private sector institutions are digitizing records and processes and upgrading existing networks and systems.