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Sri Lanka’s budding IT industry: A $5b potential

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 6 June 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka, despite its size, is fast becoming a trending destination for contemporary development. Famed for its Pure Ceylon Tea and widely acclaimed as a tourist hotspot, this island nation is now emerging as one of the top tech destinations in the world. The country is far from dormant in the IT sector – in fact it is a dynamic force in the business world today, playing a dominant role advancing technology and driving innovation across the world.

At present, the nation’s IT industry is a vibrant, dynamic business environment poised for progress. As per the data derived from SLASSCOM (Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies), the industry consists of approximately 130 registered companies, composed of a range of large, medium and small enterprises while the landscape overall has exceeded 300 ICT companies. 

In the sphere of IT, Digital Marketing and e-commerce too is vital to transform Sri Lankan business to a higher level to compete on a global platform. Information technology (IT) has become a not just a vital aspect but a hygiene factor to all business. With constant Invention of powerful online tools and faster internet connectivity has led to a novel arena in commerce related to E-commerce and Digital Marketing which gives a substantial advantage to business organisations to reach global markets instantly and cost effectively. 

The environment within which the IT sector operates has never been more conducive for growth. Equipped with the right funding and appropriate investment and support which are now adequately available, Sri Lanka’s ICT sector can attain the status of a $5 billion industry effectively.

It is encouraging to note that the Government of Sri Lanka has identified the ICT sector as a priority focus area within the newly established National Export Strategy. The path forward is clear, reinforced by the Government’s ‘IT Initiative’, a vision to bridge boundaries and propel Sri Lanka into the future. The pledge of Rs. 3 billion extended to the sector over the course of the next three years augurs well for national ICT development. These funds will be allocated by way of grants, equity investments, credit facilities, mentoring, and technical support with the end goal of developing local startups and attract foreign investors. A further allocation of Rs. 300 million has been made during the current year to implement various activities to promote ICT development through the Export Development Board (EDB).

Understanding the importance of the above, the National Chamber of Exporters has taken the initiative to organise a Forum to highlight and discuss matters such as, Information Technology and Its Role in the Modern Organisation, the potential for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry in Sri Lanka, and assistance available to entrepreneurs.

The Forum will be held at the Main Ballroom of Hotel Galadari Colombo on 6 June from 9:30 a.m. onwards. The forum will be graced by the Chief Guest, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe, and as the Guest of Honour Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) Chairman Prof. Rohan Samarajeewa will deliver the keynote address.

Sri Lanka, endowed with highly skilled professionals and a progressive culture, the country is undeniably brimming with untapped potential. By availing ourselves of the unique resources we possess and investing in training and development, our country can achieve exponential growth in the IT sector, both now and in the years to come.

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