Sri Lanka a regional trading humb

Sri Lanka is strategically located at the cross roads of both east and west sea routes and serves as the point of entry to South Asia.

Colombo Port

Colombo Port

According to the Lloyds Register the Colombo Port ranks as No. 01 port of South Asia and the 26th in the World. Features include;

  • Throughput has grown at a compound annual rate of 20.3% over the last seven years.
  • Transhipment cargo accounts for 72% of throughput.
  • 23 major shipping lines and 7 feeder services operate out of Colombo.
  • The Colombo Port is computerized and linked to all major freight stations.  

The Colombo Port offers:

  • An ideal geographical location with minimum deviation from shipping lines.
  • Fully equipped berths for late container vessels.
  • Excellent feeder network.
  • Fast turnaround and round the clock service.
  • EDI facilities with two modern container terminals, with state of the art technology and control systems.
  • The most competitive rates in the region.
  • Multi country consolidation and entrepot cargo.
  • Flexibility to meet customer needs.

Work is also in progress to develop and upgrade the port of Galle located in the south and the port of Trincomalee on the north east coast of Sri Lanka.

Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA)

Bandaranaike International Airport


  • The BIA is a regional hub of air transportation and is considered to be # 1 in South Asia.
  • Major airlines operate frequent flights from BIA to important cities in Europe, Middle East, Far East, Australia, and the Indian Sub Continent.
  • Passenger movement at BIA has increased from 2,234,962 in 1995 to 2,880,387 in 2000, a 29% increase.
  • The cargo movements at BIA have increased from 76,312 tonnes in 1995 to 127,116 tonnes in 2000 respectively, a marked 76% increase.
  • The aircraft movement in the same period has increased from 16,543 to 21,058, a 27% increase.

Global Logistics Hub

Global Logistics Hub


Sri Lanka will be developed as a major Global Logistics Hub in the South Asian region for trade, investment, communications, and financial services. Known as the Colombo Freeport, it will provide integrated air, sea and road services linked to state of the art distribution parks.

Key Features of Colombo Freeport

  • Distribution parks at air and seaports
  • Quality physical infrastructure facilities
  • Warehousing & administration facilities
  • Superior IT/telecom facilities
  • Public/private participation
  • One-stop service centre
  • Private sector management
  • Attractive incentives for operators and users

Key Activities of Colombo Freeport

  • Multi-country consolidation
  • Regional distribution
  • Transhipment
  • Entrepot trading
  • Import/export and value addition

Business Environment

Colombo Port


 In the EIU s country forecast, Sri Lanka s overall score in the business environment rankings improves from 4.99 for the historical period (1997-2001) to 6.03 for the forecast period (2002-2006). The country s global ranking improves from 49th to 45th and its regional ranking moves from 14th to 13th in comparison to the historical period.

The higher rankings are indicative of the more attractive investment climate in the country, with Sri Lanka s score in most of the categories used to evaluate the business environment improving significantly. For instance, Sri Lanka is ranked highly for its liberal approach to foreign investment, with its global & regional rankings moving from 36th to 27th (out of 60 countries) and 8th to 4th (out of 16 countries) respectively. From a regional perspective, the country s main advantages centre on its open foreign investment regime, its commitment to private enterprise & competition & its liberalized trading environment (where it is ranked 5th).

Strategic Access to the Indian markets

Colombo Port


The Indo Lanka Free Trade Agreement clearly demonstrates the political goodwill and commitment between India and Sri Lanka. The agreement creates multiple investment opportunities for local and multinational firms based in Sri Lanka seeking to enter the Indian market. The underlying premise of the agreement is to create a free trade area through the complete or phased elimination of tariffs, which will occur over defined phases.

Source: Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority
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