Participating at the Our Ocean Conference 2016, at the invitation of the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, on 15 September, outlined several commitments by Sri Lanka to protect oceans around Sri Lanka and beyond. The...
The Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka condemns the nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 9th September 2016. Sri Lanka notes with concern that this is the second such test to be carried...
Consideration of the Second Periodic Report of Sri Lanka under the Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) took place at the 25th Session of the Committee on Migrant Workers, held at the Palais Wilson...
The Fifth Ministerial Consultations of the Colombo Process (CP) has decided to explore cooperation in the operationalization of the migration related goals in the SDGs, work towards promoting the...
Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chair of the Geneva-based Colombo Process Member States Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha presenting a report of the Fourth Senior...
For the first time, two Sri Lankan undergraduate students participated in the 2016 Summer Student Programme at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, the most prominent...
FOREIGN TRADE REGIME OF SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka, a founder member of the GATT/WTO, continues to be a strong promoter of free trade. Its foreign trade regime is characterised by a combination of the GATT/WTO disciplines and a series of market-oriented reforms, which were introduced unilaterally by several successive governments since 1977. The liberal trade policies strive at further integrating Sri Lanka into the global economy, while holding in balance the domestic stakeholder interests.
Imports are primarily regulated through border tariffs with hardly any quantitative restrictions. Sri Lanka currently maintains a simplified four-band tariff structure, where over 50% of the tariff lines enjoy zero (MFN) duty.
|Classification|| Customs Duty (%)
|| No. of Tariff Lines
|Essential inputs, not manufactured locally||0.0
|Raw materials & semi raw materials||7.5||184|
However, it is pertinent to mention that a few product categories such as alcohol, cigarettes, perfumes and automobiles are subject to higher tariffs.
Sri Lanka is a signatory to the following free / preferential trade agreements, which grant tariff concessions to a wide range of products in a number of key markets.
- Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement
- Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement
- South-Asian Free Trade Area (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)
- Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (Bangladesh, China, India, South Korea, Laos and Sri Lanka)
- Global System of Trade Preferences – GSTP (Over 40 countries)
Sri Lanka also enjoys preferential market access under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) schemes of the following countries.
Australia Canada European Union
Japan New Zealand Norway (GSP+)
Russia Switzerland United States
An ideal destination for trade and investment
The 2013 “Ease of Doing Business” Survey by the World Bank Group has ranked Sri Lanka as the easiest country to do business within the entire South Asian region. A host of factors, including peaceful and business friendly environment, supportive government policies, educated and easily adaptable workforce, strategic location and connectivity, preferential access to key markets, fast improving social infrastructure and quality of life have made Sri Lanka an ideal destination for both trade and investment.
| Department of Commerce
|Department of Sri Lanka Customs|
|Board of Investment of Sri Lanka|
|Department of Registrar of Companies|
|National Intellectual Property Office|
|Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau
|Sri Lanka Export Development Board|