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Chapter | Country Profile from The Report: Sri Lanka 2019

Sri Lanka has long served as an important strategic destination in the Indian Ocean, catering to merchants and travellers from South-east Asia, India, the Middle East and East Africa. While much of the country’s recent history has been tainted by a decades-long civil war, post-conflict euphoria brought with it a sense of renewal and optimism. A coalition administration elected in 2015 pledged its commitment to inclusive governance and economic reform, a rebalancing of foreign policy, and reconciliation with its ethnic minorities. However, the coalition has diverged on several key policy issues, leading to delays in the legislative agenda and culminating in a constitutional crisis that saw the prime minister removed from office by the president in October 2018, only to be reinstated two months later following a ruling by the country’s highest court. This chapter contains interviews with President Maithripala Sirisena; and Ganeshan Wignaraja, Executive Director, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute; and a viewpoint from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Chapter | Table of Contents from The Report: Sri Lanka 2019

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Chapter | The Guide from The Report: Sri Lanka 2019

This chapter contains selected listings of some of the country’s top hotels, contact details for embassies, ministries and organisations, helpful tips for business and leisure travellers and other useful suggestions for travel to Sri Lanka.

Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: Sri Lanka 2019

This chapter examines the legal system of Sri Lanka, focusing on raising loans via the Active Liability Management Act No. 8 of 2018; liberalising foreign land ownership through the Land Restriction on Alienation Act No. 21 of 2018; the Nation Building Tax (Amendment) Act No. 20 of 2018, which covers tax exemptions and exemption periods; the Value-added Tax (Amendment) Act No. 25 of 2018; and the investigations and impositions included under the Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties Act No. 2 of 2018. This chapter contains a viewpoint from John Wilson, Managing Proprietor, John Wilson Partners.

Chapter | Health & Education from The Report: Sri Lanka 2019

Sri Lanka’s free, universal public health care system dates back to the 1930s. While the system is rooted in urban centres, public service provision has long since expanded into rural areas and is available island-wide, though concerns persist about the relative quality of these services beyond the major towns and cities. The Sri Lankan government has made a concerted effort to develop the education sector in recent years, seeing this as fundamental to its overall push to become an upper-middle-income country. This effort includes increased public spending, institutional and curricular reform and expansion, and the redevelopment of the foundations of the education system. At the same time the government is stepping up outreach efforts to encourage more students to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to develop forward-looking IT skills. This chapter contains an interview with Shyam Sathasivam, President, Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry.

Chapter | ICT from The Report: Sri Lanka 2019

Following years of steady growth, the ICT sector is embracing a period of fast-paced innovation. While the telecoms and business process outsourcing industries in Sri Lanka are reaching maturity, efforts are being focused on developing more innovative and high-end products. The sector’s organic growth is benefitting other industries, such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, and supporting the emergence of technology-focused small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, which in turn are creating jobs and value in the economy. At the same time, government and private sector stakeholders are trying to promote the country as a technology hub for international firms and investors. However, despite the progress made, recent political uncertainty and ongoing regional disparities in ICT infrastructure need to be addressed to ensure the sector’s momentum does not stall. This chapter contains an interview with Lakmini Wijesundera, CEO, IronOne Technologies.