Sri Lanka, situated at the southern tip of India, is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country with a diverse, rich culture and a recorded history of over 2,000 years. Sri Lanka offers the most friendly and advantageous business climate in South Asia to the international investor for a variety of reasons.
A Democratic Socialist Republic, Sri Lanka has one of the highest literacy rates in South Asia (92%). The use of English in day-to-day life is widespread, and also the language of the commercial sector. A strategic location at the crossroads of both the eastern and western sea routes ensures that Sri Lanka serves as the point of entry to all of South Asia. This strategic location in the Indian Ocean, on the major air & sea routes between Europe & the Far East, gives Sri Lanka an advantage as a global logistics hub
Having adopted a liberalized open economic system as far back as 1977, Sri Lanka is today ranked among the most liberalized economies in South Asia. Investors can enjoy preferential tax rates, constitutional guarantees on investment agreements, exemptions from exchange control and 100% repatriation of profits.
Sri Lanka has an enviable record of political credibility in the international arena. All major political parties are committed to free enterprise and individual freedom. The government has never defaulted nor requested rescheduling of any of its international obligations.Significantly, this protection extends to foreign investors as well. Bilateral investment agreements, supported by constitutional guarantees, provide strong protection fo foreign investment for Sri Lanka. In 2010 Sri Lanka exported goods worth US Dollars 1,747 million while US exports to Sri Lanka amounted to US Dollars 178 million. These figures reflect a heavy trade deficit in favour of Sri Lanka.( $1,568.9 million). The trade statistics for the first half of 2010 as against the same period in 2011 indicates an increase of 45.2% in exports to the USA (from $ 86.3 Million to $ 125.3 Million) and 19.9% on imports from USA (from $ .827.5 to $992.1).
The US GSP program which offered duty free concessions for many products exported from Sri Lanka lapsed on 31st December 2010, consequent to the non re-authorization of the program, before its conclusion by the US congress. Hence the GSP eligible articles entering the US from non AGOA countries including Sri Lanka had to face general duties with effect from January 2011
Entry/exit requirements for US Citizens are simple and straightforward. A passport and onward/return ticket and proof of sufficient funds are all that is required. A no-cost visitor visa, valid for 30 days, will be granted to tourists at the time of entry into Sri Lanka although business travelers are required to have a visa prior to arrival. Sri Lanka is serviced by a world-class international airport in Katunayake, 20 miles north of the capital, Colombo