Sri Lanka

Department of Commerce

Eastern Revival Programme

Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Sri Lanka Customs

Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Colombo Stock Exchange

Department of Import Export Control

Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation

Sri Lanka Standard Institution

Registrar of Companies

Sri Lanka Ports Authority

Sri Lanka Tea Board

Sri Lanka Apparel Manufacturers Association

Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF)

National Gem & Jewellery Authority

Sri Lanka Association of Software Industry

Software Exporters Association

Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka

Coconut Development Authority

Department of Animal Production & Health

Ministry of Finance and Planning

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka

National Chamber of Commerce

National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka

Chamber of Construction Industries

Bank of Ceylon

Peoples Bank of Sri Lanka

United Kingdom

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)

H M Customs

London Chamber of Commerce

Birmingham Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Lloyds Market

UK Tea Council

International Maritime Organization


Board of Investment


National Procurement Agency


Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment

High Commission of Sri Lanka
No.13, Hyde Park Gardens
London W2 2LU,
United Kingdom.

Tel:  020 7262 1841-6
Fax: 020 7262 7970



UK - Sri Lanka Relations

Trade & Investment


Opening of the Treasury bill and Treasury bond Market for Sri Lankan Diaspora and Migrant Workforce

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Formal trade links between Sri Lanka and the UK was established when Sri Lanka was a British Colony. It was the British who introduced commercial plantations, first coffee and then tea and rubber to Sri Lanka. The British also developed Sri Lanka's service industry - shipping, banking, insurance, produce brokering and transport systems to facilitate movement and export of plantation produce to international markets.

Over the years, heavy reliance on export of primary agricultural produce has reduced considerably thus diversifying export product base and markets.

Today, UK is the Sri Lanka's largest market after USA, accounting for 13% of Sri Lanka's exports.
Total trade turnover which reached US $ 1 Bn mark in 2004, has continued through 2007 registering a total trade turnover around US $ 1.2 Bn. Balance of trade which has been in Sri Lanka's favor since early 1980's has reached a record figure of nearly US $ 800 Mn in 2007, mainly due to increased imports of apparel from Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's Major Exports to UK
UK market has absorbed 25% of total Sri Lankan apparel exports to the world in 2007, making it the second largest export market for apparel after the US (nearly 50%).

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories have figured prominently among Sri Lanka's exports to the UK market. Value of apparel exports has accounted for 78% of total imports into the UK from Sri Lanka in 2007.

Other important export items from Sri Lanka to the UK market which feature prominently include automatic data processing machines, sea food, bicycles, tea, rubber products, gems and jewellery, coir products, ceramics, fruits and vegetables and toys.

EU GSP Plus Scheme
The EU GSP Plus Scheme, offered to Sri Lanka by the European Union with effect from 1st July 2005 has paved way for over 90% of Sri Lanka's export products to the European Union at zero duty. Under this arrangement around 7,200 products inclusive of all categories of garments from Sri Lanka are eligible to enter the EU markets provided such products meet the prescribed Rules of Origin Criteria.

These highly favourable concessions have been extended to Sri Lanka for ratifying, introducing legislation and implementation of a series of conventions on human rights, labour rights, good governance and environment related ones which are of interest to the EU.

More information relating to the EU GSP Plus Scheme can be obtained from :  or

Sri Lanka's Major Imports from UK
Sri Lanka imports a wide variety of items from UK such as sugar, gold, man made staple fibbers, knitted or crocheted fabrics, paper & paper board, vehicle parts, iron or steel, coins, optical, photography and medical instruments, plastic articles, electrical machinery and miscellaneous chemical products, medicaments. Sugar has surpassed gold as the largest import item from UK to Sri Lanka in 2005 & 2006.


The UK is one of Sri Lanka's major investors, ranking first in terms of direct foreign investment from the European Union. British companies have invested in diverse areas such as power generation, textiles, garments and accessories, electronic products, security printing, tourism, infrastructure development, rubber based products, activated carbon, agriculture, logistics, insurance, food processing, computer software development and business process outsourcing.

Today Sri Lanka functions as the regional logistics hub for Marks & Spencer (M&S), the global apparel giant. M&S in association with Brandix Lanka opened the first ever "Green Apparel Factory" in the world in Sri Lanka in April 2008. It is anticipated that the redesigned factory would reduce its carbon footprint by 75 % through a 45 % saving in energy consumption.

The concept of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) was introduced to Sri Lanka with the investment by P & O Worldwide, UK in the development of Colombo port - South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) with Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Government of Sri Lanka.

Today Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the favourite and reliable destinations for UK companies for outsourcing of services in the fields of accounting, legal, medical and H R.


Some of the sectors identified for promotion in the UK in consultation with the Board of Investment in Sri Lanka are:  


         Textile / apparel & accessories

         IT / IT services

         Rubber based products (Automotive components)

         Light engineering / metal working

         Electronics & components



         Tourism & recreation

         Agriculture / food processing

         Gems & jewellery

For more information on investment opportunities -


"Eastern Revival" Development Programme

The Government of Sri Lanka has embarked on a comprehensive redevelopment programme steered by the President's Office and the Ministry of Nation Building & Estate Infrastructure Development in order to revive the livelihoods of the people in the Eastern Province which was recently liberated from the LTTE.


In addition to community programmes this redevelopment programme includes many investment opportunities.  

  • Infrastructure development projects such as roads, bridges, ports, reservoirs, irrigation projects, power plants, hospitals and schools.

  • Manufacturing  - cement , fertilizer, ice manufacturing & cool room facilities

  • Tourism & recreation activities

  • Livestock development

  • Agriculture, agro-forestry

  • Deep-sea fishing and fish-processing

Investors would be able to enjoy tax holidays up to 20 years, lands under a special concessionary scheme and other benefits.


For more information and to contact the "Eastern Revival" programme direct please visit


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