|Sri Lanka||20ft container||40ft container|
LCL shipping from our London office in Feltham TW14 post code to Sri Lanka ports
|Total Volume *||Colombo port|
|Destination||50 kilos||200 kilos||500 kilos|
|Destination||50 kilos||200 kilos||500 kilos|
Sri Lanka is a trading and a trans-shipment hub for south Asia.
Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 7.4% during 2014, up slightly from 7.2% in 2013. It is classed by the World Bank as a lower middle income country with a GDP per capita of $3,558 (2014 World Bank estimate). The government aims to increase this to $4,000 per capita by 2016.
Sri Lanka is a market of 21 million people. With its geographical location in south Asia it can reach a market of over 1.6 billion.
Sri Lanka has an established and growing middle class. Much of the middle class has a direct link with the UK through work, study or though family members in the UK. UK products are therefore familiar.
Sri Lanka is already home to some of the big UK companies. They include Marks and Spencer Clothing, HSBC, De La Rue Currency, GlaxoSmithKline, Standard Chartered Bank and Rolls Royce. There are over 100 companies in Sri Lanka with UK affiliation across a wide range of sectors.
Benefits for UK businesses exporting to Sri Lanka include:
Strengths of the Sri Lankan market include:
Bureaucracy, nepotism and a lack of transparency are all prominent in the Sri Lankan business environment.
Sri Lanka was ranked 85th in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014.
Read the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Overseas Business Risk guide for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the region with 7.4% growth in 2014. The economy is expected to grow by 6.9% in 2015.
However, government debt has been increasing and debt reduction is proving difficult to achieve due to low revenue. In 2014 the deficit stood at 6% of GDP. Sri Lanka’s short term debt is equivalent to over half of its foreign reserves.3.2 Free trade agreements
Sri Lanka is also expected to finalise a FTA with China.
Links between both countries have always been strong and Britain is a top 10 investor in Sri Lanka.
UK exports to Sri Lanka were valued at £165 million in 2014. This is a decline of 1% compared to 2013.
The UK’s top exports are:
The UK is:
Government policy aims to create more knowledge based jobs by:
British qualifications are the most desired. There are already 28 UK universities present in the market, working with local providers on undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.
There are opportunities in vocational and further education, including skills training for the tourism sector. UK colleges are currently exploring the market.
Sri Lanka has the largest membership outside the UK of the:
There are opportunities to:
Much of Sri Lanka’s infrastructure needs to be modernised following destruction in the civil war as well as to drive further economic growth.
Government policy is to increase tourism related earnings to reach over $3 billion by 2016.
The Sri Lankan government aims to develop:
Sri Lanka has little experience in renewable energy. This creates opportunities related to the maintenance and running of renewable energy plants. These include:
There is also potential for UK companies in:
British companies have found Sri Lanka to be a useful base for their new development operations by:
The government is keen to establish Sri Lanka as a centre for the provision of:
This objective and the expected growth in port services and tourism provides opportunities for UK businesses in these sectors.
Routes to market include:
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s has a Step-by-step Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lankafor information on setting up a company in Sri Lanka.
The Department of the Registrar of Companies is responsible for incorporating companies.
Tax and legal obligations differ depending on which business structure you choose. DITSri Lanka can provide lists of lawyers and accountants on request.
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) can assist in establishing a company. Depending on the level of investment the BOI is able to offer tax incentives and holidays.
There are no special laws governing the contractual appointments of Sri Lankan agents by foreign principals.
The laws and the court system in Sri Lanka are based on English Law.
Roman Dutch Law or local laws such as Kandyan Law or Thesavalamai Law can apply for property and inheritance.7.1 Standards and technical regulations
Consumer goods exported to Sri Lanka must indicate the Maximum Retail Price (MRP).
Food items must be labelled in English, Sinhala and Tamil.
Prior approval for labelling and packaging should be obtained from the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Authority and SLSI.7.2 Intellectual property (IP)
Sri Lanka IP law recognises the following forms of intellectual property:
It is recommended that companies register IP with the National Intellectual Property Office to protect against infringement.
Sri Lanka’s tax structure for businesses can be complex so accountancy advice is essential.
Once you’ve completed a company registration contact the Department of Inland Revenue for:
The BOI can grant exemptions from laws such as inland revenue, exchange control and customs if a project meets certain investment thresholds.8.1 Value Added Tax (VAT)
The VAT rate is 12%.
You can find more information on VAT in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s Step-by-step Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lanka.8.2 Corporate and income tax
You can find details of corporate taxation in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s Step-by-step Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lanka.
Employee related taxes include:
The Sri Lanka Customs authority provides details of customs regulations and procedures.
Sri Lankan business people generally speak English.
Occasionally women or men may prefer not to shake hands with the opposite sex. You should wait and see if a hand is offered.