sampath add

FTA with S’pore makes SL digital hub

February, 19, 2018

Sri Lanka’s IT industry has been one of the most remarkable success stories in the country’s economy, said Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama.

He was speaking at the IT-BPM Brand Launch at BMICH on Thursday to launch the official brand of the Sri Lankan IT-BPM sector – ‘Island of Ingenuity’.

“The IT industry has emerged and become globally competitive due to the unique talents of our people, the focus on high quality and reliability, but above all – ingenuity and creativity. We need to tell the world about this, and today’s brand launch will help us to do exactly that.”

The sector has been identified as one of six priority focus sectors, with a focused plan of action that was co-created with industry leaders.

The ‘IT Initiative’ envisaged in the Budget 2018 and being implemented by the EDB will have complementary programs to help second tier IT firms break into new global markets through a well-designed and well-governed ‘Champion Builder Program’.

The IT initiative will also support regional IT entrepreneurship and skills availability for the sector. In total, we will be investing 300 million rupees on this over the coming year.

I believe that together with the brand being launched today, these initiatives will drive the IT-BPM export sector to 5 billion dollars in 5 years. Sri Lanka has embarked on a new chapter in its economic development journey, with the ongoing reforms in the macro economy, trade policy, FDI, and the overall business climate. Our ongoing reform efforts have resulted in exports of goods and services growing to 15.15 billion US dollars last year, and an all-time high FDI inflow of 1.63 billion US dollars. We will continue to focus on streamlining investment approvals and facilitation, improving exporter competitiveness, and forging vital bilateral free trade and economic cooperation agreements to become more open and accessible to the world.”

He the country has just signed a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore two weeks ago and this is a step towards closer integration with ASEAN and the rest of Asia, making Sri Lanka an attractive digital and logistics hub for this region. There is no doubt that Sri Lanka needs a globally competitive IT industry as a linchpin in transforming our economy.

“In this time of flux and of opportunity, Sri Lanka’s IT-BPM industry can position itself to offer the kind of new and sophisticated digital services that international businesses require.”