Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 8/11/2017
  • Total U.S.-Sri Lanka bilateral trade of goods and services in 2016: $3.2 billion.
  • U.S. exports of goods to Sri Lanka in 2016: $369 million.
  • World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2017 Rank:  110 out of 189 (109 in 2016)
  • Total annual imports are approximately $19 billion, mainly from China, India, and Singapore.
  • The United States is the largest single market for Sri Lankan exports, capturing nearly $2.8 billion of the $10.3 billion total exports from Sri Lanka in 2016 according to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka has been designated a Lower Middle Income Country (LMIC) by the World Bank. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka states the population was 21.2 million in 2016. Sri Lanka is focusing on long-term strategic and structural development challenges as it strives to transition to an upper middle-income country. Key challenges include boosting foreign investment, realigning public spending and policy with the needs of a middle-income country, enhancing the role of the private sector, including the provision of an appropriate environment for increasing productivity and exports, and ensuring that growth is inclusive. The bloated civil service and losses at state-owned enterprises are significant challenges for the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL). Future growth will also require deregulation of land and labor markets.
  • Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached $81.3 billion in 2016 with a GDP per capita of $3,835. The GDP growth rate in 2016 was 4.4 percent down from 4.8 percent in 2015.
  • According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, GDP is projected to grow approximately 5.0 percent in 2017 admid the adverse impact of unfavorable weather conditions, and is expected to improve gradually thereafter to a projected 7.0 percent by 2020. The World Bank expects GDP to grow by approximately 4.7 percent in 2017 and marginally improve to 5.0 percent in the medium term driven by private consumption and investment.  Inflation on a year-to-year basis was 8.4 percent in April 2017.  Inflation is expected to be 6.0 percent in 2017 and remain at 6.0 percent in 2018 per Asia Development Bank projections.
  • Compared to other South Asian countries, Sri Lanka is open to foreign investment. It offers a relatively open financial system, moderately stable monetary policy, improving infrastructure, and world class local companies.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Sri Lanka Trade Development and Promotion