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Trade and Commerce

Please visit the following websites for information on Trade and Commerce.

  Ministry of Industry and Commerce www.industry.gov.lk
  Department of Commerce www.doc.gov.lk
  Ceylon Chamber of Commerce www.chamber.lk
  National Chamber of Commerce www.nccsl.lk
  Federation of Chambers www.fccisl.lk





Sri Lanka is ranked as the most liberalized economy in south Asia. In 1978, the Island adopted open market free economic policies, and successive governments have further liberalized the economy, leading to deregulation, greater privatization and opening the economy to international competition with transparent investment laws aimed to foster foreign direct investments. Sri Lankan commercial laws are based on British laws and country has a highly independent judicial system.

The major objective of the present government’s industrial strategy is to develop a competitive and export-oriented market economy. The industrial strategy has been specifically designed to create a climate conducive to accelerated growth in the foreign and local government.

Sri Lanka has a dynamic and a resilient private sector, which if necessary can be joint venture partners for foreign investors. Also, foreign investors are allowed to own 100% ownership of an investment and concessions granted under an agreement with the Board of Investment – for qualifying investment projects - remain valid over the lifetime of the enterprise.


In 2010, Sri Lanka possessed the most literate population in South Asia and one of the highest in the developing world with a literacy rate of 91.9% (90.8% and 93.2% respectively for females and males).She leads the South Asian region in human development indices. The country boasts a life expectancy of 72.64 years for males and 79.79 years for females and an infant mortality rate of 8.5 per 1,000 live births, which ranked it 93 of 172 countries.

Sri Lanka is a firm proponent of international laws and UN’s rights of labour, children and women. The country has an edge over its regional competitors because of its stringent adherence to child labour laws and endorsement of gender equality. Well educated, adaptable, energetic, skilled and semi-skilled human resources are readily available at competitive wage rates.

The Sri Lankan government has launched an ambitious program of physical infrastructure development to completely upgrade the sea, air, road, power and energy and the telecommunication sectors of the country. The Colombo South port expansion project with three terminals, will increase the capacity of the Colombo Port by 160% upon completion. The construction of the Hambantota Port ideally located had led to serve the main East-West shipping lane connecting Europe and the Middle –east with South East Asia. In close proximity to the Hambantota port, the new International Airport at Mattala in the southern Hambantota district had been constructed which had opened up the vast southern and eastern areas of Sri Lanka for development including tourism projects.

Road development in the country, which was left behind in the last few decades due to the conflict, has been given prominence by the government. The national Road Master Plan had focused on the construction of highways, widening of highways, reduction of traffic congestion, road maintenance & rehabilitation and bridge rehabilitation & reconstruction.

Development of power & energy sector is a key aspect of the government's infrastructure development agenda and long term strategies have been introduced with active participation of the private sector, as a key component.