Foreign ownership is welcome in almost all sectors of the economy, except a few regulated areas. Investors are permitted to repatriate 100% of their profits and exempted from most of the exchange control regulations. They can also enjoy preferential tax benefits and constitutional guarantees on their investment.
Sri Lanka: A Regional Trading Hub
Being strategically located at the cross roads of east-west sea routes and serving as an entry point to the vast Indian market, Sri Lanka is well poised to become the trading hub in the region. According to the Lloyds Register, the Port of Colombo ranks the No. 1 port in South Asia and 26th in the world. While 23 major shipping lines and 7 feeder services operate out of Colombo, the port is computerized and linked to all major freight stations.
A number of major airlines operate flights from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Colombo to many important cities in Europe, Middle East, Australia and Indian subcontinent. The national carrier, Sri Lankan airlines now covers about 50 destinations in 28 countries.
Strategic location with sea and air connectivity, high literacy rate, well educated and easily trainable workforce, market-friendly and transparent government policies, improved infrastructure, high quality education and healthcare facilities have made Sri Lanka an ideal location for foreign investors.
Preferential Access to Foreign Markets
The Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) Sri Lanka has singed with India and Pakistan provide duty-free access to a very large number of products exported from Sri Lanka to the respective markets. For instance, Sri Lanka can now export over 4,000 product lines to the vast Indian market at zero-duty.
In addition, the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), which groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka enables entrepreneurs, who set up businesses in Sri Lanka to export their products to all the respective markets either duty free or at a reduced rate of duty.
Being a beneficiary country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), Sri Lanka can also enjoy a wide range of duty concessions in many countries including major markets such as EU, USA, Japan, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, and Russia.