Sri Lanka’s IT sector records faster growth than country’s GDP
The Morning: The IT sector of Sri Lanka is growing faster than the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), stated Talal Rafi recently.
He made this remark during his presentation at the webinar “How can SMEs and startups navigate the post-pandemic business environment?” that was conducted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).
Rafi stated: “The year-on-year cumulative annual growth from the IT/BPM (Business Process Management) sector was 13% from 2013 to 2019 which is much higher than the annual GDP growth in Sri Lanka.”
Per the statistics provided by the World Bank (WB) for 2019, the annual change in the GDP growth rate remained at 2.3%.
He also noted that the revenue is generated through US dollars as inflows and the aforesaid industry employees are paid higher which generates earnings. Consequently, that capital can be put into domestic consumption such as entertainment, domestic tourism, financial services, construction industry as in terms of houses.
“This shows that a lot of emphasis needs to be put on this sector,” as it has “a lot of positive substitutes”, he emphasised, as the IT industry is able to create 2.5 jobs indirectly in each related sector.
According to the statistics of 2019, provided by the Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), the IT sector has been able to generate a revenue of US$ 1.5 billion.
Rafi noted that the IT/BPM industry has the potential to grow and SLASSCOM has predicted that by 2025, the industry would be able to generate around US$ 5 billion in revenue.
He said that Sri Lanka is well positioned for the said industry because Sri Lanka had already tested 5G network access and 95% of the population has access to 4G network coverage.
There are over 600 IT companies in Sri Lanka and 80 BPM companies and the statistics are said to be growing at a faster rate in accordance with Rafi.
He said according to the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), Sri Lanka specialises in software product engineering, financial services outsourcing, and other niche technologies.
He highlighted that “the most positive thing in the IT industry” in Sri Lanka is that the number of women employed in the IT industry is increasing steadily.
Sri Lanka’s development agenda and the positioning as an emerging business destination in the South Asian region have expanded business/investment opportunities in the country’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. The government of Sri Lanka is also committed to transforming the country into an e-economy, which has resulted in the expansion of digital platforms. With Sri Lanka’s expanding economy, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in the country’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors.
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