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Some Interesting Facts about Sri Lankan Business Successes

Sri Lanka’s world class apparel industry:  Sri Lanka has a world class apparel industry servicing international brands such as Marks & Spencer, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Liz Claiborne, Next, Jones New York, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Triumph, Ann Taylor, Speedo, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Land’s End.   The product portfolio includes niche categories in casual wear, intimate apparel, active and sportswear and children’s wear.  Sri Lanka offers a full range of services from designing, fabric sourcing to washing, shipping and logistics.  These apparel companies create employment throughout the island, and are now opening factories in the post-conflict North and East.  These jobs are an enormous benefit to the people of these areas.  For more information, please visit Sri Lanka Apparels, MAS Holdings, Brandix GroupHirdaramani Group.

Sri Lanka’s niche in IT/BPO/KPO: Sri Lanka is developing as a center for delivering IT, business process outsourcing (BPO), and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) services with more than 300 IT and BPO companies and 80,000 people holding IT or BPO jobs.  The sector includes multinationals to local start-ups providing automated application testing and infrastructure outsourcing, high-end R&D, enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations, cloud and open-source applications, transcription services and call centers, complex financial research, and legal advice.  HSBC, IFS, Motorola, Sysco Labs and RR Donnelley are among the companies with R&D, IT, or BPO centers in Sri Lanka.  For more information, please visit

Sri Lankan software powers world stock exchanges:  Sri Lanka has a small but a sophisticated software industry producing cutting edge software for global clients.  For instance, Millennium Information Technologies, headquartered in Sri Lanka, specializes in capital market software products.  These products cater to trading multiple asset classes including equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, forex, structured products and exchange-traded funds. MillenniumIT’s systems are used by exchange businesses around the world including,London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, Oslo Børs,Turquoise, the London Metal Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and a series of emerging market exchanges.  Millenium IT is a member of the London Stock Exchange Group.

Sri Lanka is the world’s leader in industrial solid tires:  Sri Lanka is the current global market leader in industrial solid tires, supplying approximately 60 percent of the global market. Most of the world’s leading solid tire manufacturing groups have set up plants in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s success in the rubber industry is helped by its rank as the world’s 10th largest producer of natural rubber.

Sri Lanka is the world’s biggest producer of cinnamon:  Sri Lanka is the world’s largest producer and exporter of “true” Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum).  Cinnamon grown in Sri Lanka, considered the best in the world, is now being branded and promoted as “Ceylon Cinnamon.”  Mexico is its main destination where it is drunk with coffee and chocolate and brewed as a tea.  Sri Lanka’s “true” cinnamon differs from the lower priced substitute product “Cassia.”

Sri Lanka produces arguably the best fishing flies in the world:  Lanka Fishing Flies is the world’s single largest producer of hand-tied fishing flies, and the world’s largest producer of custom flies.  In addition to its high volume, Lanka Fishing Flies are considered the highest quality and are an exclusive supplier to Umpqua Feather Merchants USA.

Sri Lankan agriculture companies supply US multinationals: One of Sri Lanka’s premier blue chip firms and a leader in the agriculture sector supplies product to some of the biggest US food companies such as McDonalds, Burger King and Subway.

Sri Lanka can be a gateway to the Indian market:  Sri Lanka sits next to world’s newest economic power–India.  Most exports from Sri Lanka qualify for duty free entry to India’s large and growing market.  Manufacturers in Sri Lanka, with 35 percent local value addition, enjoy these benefits under the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.  Many Sri Lankan exports also enjoy duty free status or preferential tariffs in a number of key markets including the U.S. (under US GSP), EU (EU GSP+), Pakistan (Pakistan Sri Lanka FTA) and South Asia (South Asia Free Trade Agreement – SAFTA).  For more information please visit the Sri Lanka Department of Commerce or the Sri Lanka Board of Investment.

U.S. Supported Programs: Since 1956, U.S-supported programs have invested in Sri Lanka, working in varied sectors such as health, business development, agriculture and local governance.  U.S. Government assistance is over $ 2 billion.  USAID continues to support work on good governance, economic development, humanitarian assistance, and transition initiatives.