Known as “the teardrop of India”, the island nation of Sri Lanka is increasingly positioning itself as a quality, niche destination for information and communications technology services. It has been gaining traction by leveraging its geographical position as well as its relatively high-skilled, low-cost workforce.
About Sri Lanka
Talent Pool & Education
Sri Lanka’s information and communications technology industry is projected to grow to a $3 billion industry by 2024, creating more than 300,000 direct jobs and enabling 1,000 start-up ventures. Initiatives include regulatory reforms to attract foreign investment and to improve the country’s ease of doing business status. The tech sector is embracing a period of fast-paced innovation, according to a report by the Oxford Business Group. It’s propelling a move away from business processing outsourcing to high-end technology services such as data analytics and software engineering. A commercial launch of the 5G mobile network is expected this year.
Sinhala (or Sinhalese) and Tamil are the two official languages, but Sri Lankan engineers and developers are highly proficient in communicating in English, which is widely used in education, science and commerce.
Tourists have begun returning to Sri Lanka, providing sorely needed foreign exchange. The stock market rose significantly in 2021 and corporate profits were strong. However, economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic – caused by loss of income and jobs in major sectors, such as the garment manufacture, construction and tourism – saw food prices double. Inflation rose to 12% by the end of the year, triggering concerns about a potential financial crisis and its future ability to service its huge foreign debt.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described “stability, security and prosperity in Sri Lanka” as an essential element for bringing peace and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific region.
Elections are not scheduled until 2024, but Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has already announced he will run again. Rajapaksa, who is looking to the international community for economic support, began 2022 by promising human rights reforms and an investigation into alleged war crimes committed during the country’s 26-year civil war, which ended in 2009.