Monday, January 17, 2011

All Roads Lead to Sri Lanka !

Sri Lanka has been getting positive press coverage in the recent past over many aspects of its economy. Prospects in the Tourism Industry and IT and BPO Industry have received wide publicity together with overall economic prospects. Such coverage helps to attract more investors to the country and helps to revive tourism industry which has a vast untapped potential.


Overall Economy

A recent article appeared in the Wall Street Journal inquired if investors have already missed the boat in Sri Lanka, although the post war economic boom just started. The article was referring to the speed at which financial markets have developed since the war ended in May 2009. The Article further states that the market implied sovereign debt rating for Sri Lanka stands at Ba1 ( Moody's) , while Moody's official rating stands three notches below Ba1. Investors widely expect an upward revision of Sri Lanka's rating. A complete chart of ratings awarded by major rating agencies can be found here .

Further confirming the trend the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) ended the year 2010 with an All Share Price Index growth of 96 % YoY. However it should be noted that the market capitalization of the CSE reflects only 40% of the GDP of Sri Lanka as of now.

IT / BPO Industry

Most recently top IT Research firm Gartner Inc. included Sri Lanka in its Top 9 IT Offshore Service Destinations in the Asia Pacific region. This positions Sri Lanka among the world's top 30 Offshore IT Service providers as well.

New York Times carried an article highlighting Sri Lanka's potential as an outsourcing center for financial services with particular emphasis on Accounting function. The article also positively commented on Colombo's suitability as a business travel destination. It stated that " Many international executives also quietly admit that Colombo’s colonial architecture, excellent seafood restaurants and proximity to miles of sandy beaches make it a more alluring business travel destination than India’s outsourcing centers. "


Tourism Industry

Tourism industry has been a major beneficiary of the post war revival of Sri Lanka. Tourist arrivals have been steadily increasing towards record numbers where for the year 2010 tourist arrivals stood at 654476 - up by 46.1 % YoY.

Tourism industry received a major boost in 2010 as New York Times picked Sri Lanka as the number 1 place to visit in 2010 among 31 destinations. Among other destinations featured in the same article were Seoul, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Kuala Lumpur.

National Geographic channel put Sri Lanka in the number 2 position in world’s 20 best islands . Following is a recorded segment of the NatGeo program on Sri Lanka.




Other Indices

Apart from the above Sri Lanka was ranked high by the World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report 2010. In the report Sri Lanka was ranked in the 16th position ahead of the USA, Canada and the Netherlands. Sri Lankans was ranked in the 8th position in league with the developed countries in the World Giving Index 2010 developed by the Charities Aid Foundation. The index measures the charitable behaviors of people in countries.



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