Industry & Retail
From The Report: Sri Lanka 2019
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Industrial exports have long played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s economic output, even during periods of civil strife and macroeconomic instability. Over the years, an emphasis on export orientation has led to greater productivity and employment generation. However, a new wave of instability – characterised by political uncertainty, currency depreciation and rising interest rates – affected productivity towards the end of 2018, adversely affecting investment confidence and nullifying some of the nation’s competitive advantages. Sri Lanka’s retail sector has evolved into a powerful driver of growth and opportunity. Over the last decade, fast-paced urbanisation has enticed significant investment in commercial real estate. As such, modern outlets are gradually replacing small informal merchants. While traditional vendors still play an important role in the market, modern convenience stores, hypermarkets and malls are poised to occupy an even greater share of retail space. This chapter contains an interview with Prabhash Subasinghe, Managing Director, Global Rubber Industries; and Carl Cruz, Chairman, Unilever Sri Lanka.