Booming at a brisk 23% p.a., not even the New Year Tsunami nor the GFC could touch the local Sri Lankan IT/ICT industry. International Financial and Banking analysts from HSBC, the London Stock Exchange and Royal Bank of Scotland agree that Sri Lankan technology firms are primed for significant investment growth.
International companies such as Microsoft, HSBC, Motorola, SAS, Nokia and The Body Shop are attracted to the combination of “South Asian affordability, Western quality standards”.
The Sri Lankan Government has announced comprehensive support to aggressively grow the IT industry, by providing highly favorable foreign investment opportunities, so the pace is set to accelerate.
The 20 million strong Island nation has racked up an impressive list of international credentials, such as being recognised as a niche centre of excellence for Finance and Accounting Outsourcing with the world's second largest pool of UK qualified accounting professionals (only second to UK).
A survey in Global Services magazine ranked Sri Lanka among the top 20 centres of excellence for Financial and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) in the world. Leading global companies such as WNS, Amba Research, Quattro and HSBC have set up their FAO centres in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, was ranked 5th among the 15 emerging global cities and recognized as the Center of Excellence for Financial and Accounting Outsourcing by Tholons, a US-based boutique outsourcing consultancy and investment firm.
The Government is allowing Total Foreign Ownership, with no restrictions on repatriation earnings, and the rights of foreign investment is guaranteed by the constitution. Coupled with an advanced educational program, the Sri Lankan workforce is highly educated, English literate and renowned for a strong work ethic.
David Lester, Director of the London Stock Exchange (Information Services) was one of the early entrants: “Partnering with a Sri Lankan based company has been refreshingly straightforward. Our presence in Colombo provides us with an important footprint in Asia.”
Says Reshan Dewapura, CEO of The Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka: “The Government has seen how resilient our IT/ICT companies are, and how attractive their services have become to US Fortune 500, Canadian and UK companies. That’s why we have set course for the IT/ICT industry to generate US $1Billion in export revenue to employ more than 100,000 people within 5 years, and ensure that the ITO/BPO industry becomes a top revenue earner within 10 years. We are excited to extend a warm invitation to Australian companies to realize the significant opportunities that exist here, including generous tax holidays.”
The industry has created international confidence, given that it has thrived in the face of extraordinary conditions, not least of which the New Year Tsunami. “Our local business leaders have done very well, to build robust and internationally competitive businesses,” say Fayaz Hudah, Program Head at ICTA.
A Government sponsored delegation of leading Sri Lankan IT/ICT companies will be attending CeBIT in Sydney, and visiting Melbourne to meet with investors and local IT/ICT companies. They will be available to answer questions at these times:
Hilton Sydney, 30th of May
17.30 to 19.30
Melbourne Convention Centre, 3rd of June
Linked to the Hilton South Wharf
07.30 to 10.00
Email: [email protected]
Sri Lankan Information Communication Technology Agency
The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka is the single apex body involved in ICT policy and direction for the nation. Wholly owned by the Government of Sri Lanka, ICTA is the implementing organization of the e-Sri Lanka Initiative. Major donors including the World Bank will be funding a number of the Agency’s initiatives.