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South Asia

Sri Lanka debate: Reform-driven Sri Lanka puts trade on the agenda

Sri Lanka’s focus on reforming and liberalizing its economy is bearing fruit, with the country signing new free trade agreements and posting record exports and growth figures. The government is keen to sell down state assets and position the island at the heart of Indian Ocean maritime trade.

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Published in association with
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Ministry of Finance,
Sri Lanka



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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

• Sri Lanka focuses on economic reforms, divesting non-core assets in sectors including banking and empowering private enterprise

• Free trade agreements will spur growth of the manufacturing base and integrate Sri Lanka further into Asian supply chains

• The government aims to make it easier for foreign investors to put capital to work in key industries

• Sri Lanka is on track to become the focal point of maritime trade in the Indian Ocean

• New reforms and acts are helping to stabilize the economy, boosting tax revenues and ensuring long-term fiscal stability

• Record FDI and export figures show Sri Lanka, nearly a decade after the end of the civil war, is on the right track

• Colombo’s International Financial City will be a great place to locate regional headquarters, for firms and financial institutions from across the world

Elliot Wilson, Euromoney: Sri Lanka is performing very well – but what can take the economy to the next level? 

Mangala Samaraweera, minister of finance and mass media (MS, FM) When this government took over in 2015, the economy was, for various reasons, locked in a pro-state and anti-privatization mindset.