The ancient stone pillar of the future
The resilience we have as a nation is one of our most important assets. Sri Lanka has been through many challenges, but we always come back stronger”, assures Mr. Lakshan Madurasinghe, President of Sri Lanka’s American Chamber of Commerce. Like many countries in these post-pandemic times, Sri Lanka has experienced significant economic upheavals. However, what makes the country unique is its huge strategic potential to become one of South Asia’s main hubs for international investors.
On the one hand, Sri Lanka’s strategic geographical position places it within a vast proximity market in South Asia and East Africa, with considerably reduced supply chain costs since most raw materials come from the region. Similarly, the country’s ports, shipping lines and major infrastructure developments like Port City Colombo enable it to bring forth large-scale investment projects. With an annual estimate of US $1.2 billion in terms of direct economic value, there is great potential to draw in different types of investors such as valuable travelers, luxury yacht marina, world- class integrated resorts, high-end retail malls and convention centers. “These advantages make Sri Lanka ideal for supply chain diversification and head office operations”, states Mr. Madurasinghe.
Another factor that contributes to Sri Lanka’s resilience is the country’s elevated literacy rate, which makes it the highest-ranked South Asian nation on the Human Development Index, with a highly-skilled, English-speaking workforce. Moreover, the country is recognized internationally for its superior sustainability standards, particularly in the manufacturing and hospitality industries. As Mr. Madurasinghe explains, “when it comes to ethical practices in our manufacturing processes, we really are above. This set us apart from other countries in the region”.
In terms of trade partners, while Sri Lanka has an open approach to establishing commercial ties with countries like India, China, and several European nations, their relationship with the United States is of particular im- portance. Not only they are Sri Lanka’s main economic partner, receiving over 24% of all its exports, but in the future Sri Lanka expects to attract US companies willing to invest in the telecommunications, IT, BPO, tourism, construction, energy and financial sectors.
Despite recent economic turmoil, Sri Lanka remains one of the region’s best investment opportunities. Like Mr. Madurasinghe says “if you partner with the right people along with the right long-term mindset, I believe you will find success.”