Doing Business in Sri Lanka

Business and Economic Overview

Sri Lanka ranks 100th in the ease of doing business. Sri Lanka is the 79th largest export economy in the world and the 101st most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). 

The top exports of Sri Lanka are Tea ($1.37b), Other Women’s Undergarments ($663m), Knit Women’s Undergarments ($600m), Knit Women’s Suits ($561m) and Non-Knit Women’s Suits ($459m). The top export destinations of Sri Lanka are the United States($2.93b), the United Kingdom ($918m), Germany ($721m), India($712m) and Italy ($474m).

Sri Lanka’s top imports are Refined Petroleum ($2.06b), Gold ($936m), Light Rubberized Knitted Fabric ($717m), Planes, Helicopters ($687m) and Cars ($553m).  The top import origins are India ($4.21b), China ($3.68b), Singapore ($1.66b), the United Arab Emirates ($1.47b) and Japan ($1.02b).

Corruption in the public procurement processes are high. Public procurement is open to bribery, which poses a challenge to investors bidding for government contracts. 

Companies report that payments and bribes in the process of awarding government contracts are common. The level of corruption makes it difficult for companies to compete with bidders that are not subject to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. President Sirisena has publicly claimed that half of Sri Lanka’s public procurement contracts are stained by corruption.

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