The Economy and the Job Market
Over the past decade the job market in Sri Lanka has changed considerably. The end of the war has helped establish a much more conducive environment for business, and the results are showing in the figures. The per capita GDP has risen from $1182 (in 2005) to $2004 (in 2014). With new regions opening up for economic activity, growth has been steady and foreign investors have taken note.
The government’s economic development plan is built around a ‘5+1 Hub Strategy’, with the hubs being Maritime, Aviation, Knowledge, Energy, Finance and Tourism. Many initiatives are already underway as per this strategy, which was established with input from business and academic sectors.
- Several key cities for trade have been identified across the country, and are being linked with better roads.
- The country has established new trade partnerships with many countries.
- There is much greater R&D investment than before, and the country is looking beyond traditional industries to find new niche areas.
- The government is working with telecom operators to improve communications infrastructure.
- Sri Lanka has strong ties with the new-age powers India, China and Russia.
The outlook is indeed promising.
As for industries, the most impressive growth has been in IT. Several world-leading software products have been developed in Sri Lanka, and now our IT capabilities are recognized far and wide. Many new companies have joined the fray, and foreign revenue from IT services has increased significantly over the past 7 years.
Other hot industries of the future are:
- Ports and shipping related industries
- Hospitality and tourism
- Apparel industry
- Scientific research
- Oil/Gas exploration related industries
- Financial services
While the large foreign loans obtained for mega infrastructure projects are a cause for concern, carefully assessed bold initiatives sometimes need to be taken. Certain foreign governments and media had been questioning Sri Lanka’s Human Rights record, but those voices have largely receded with the visible improvements in living conditions.
We have asked CEO’s and HR Managers what interests them to hire people with foreign qualifications and experience. In general they note that returnees often bring new ideas, a different work ethic, new ways of working, understanding of foreign markets and overseas networks.
This is the ‘Asian Century’ and most Western economies are slowing down or stagnating. It might be a good time to consider a move to be part of this exciting story.
Learn about some of the leading companies in Sri Lanka and available opportunities
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