Sri Lanka Industry Sectors

April 12, 2010Sri Lankaby EconomyWatch



Since its independence in 1948, Sri Lankan economy has been through some major highs and lows. However, it grew at a rate of 7% a year between 2006 and 2008. Colombo is the major industrial centre of the country. The major industrial sectors in Sri Lanka are food processing, petroleum refining, construction, telecommunications, insurance, banking, textiles and apparel, cement, agriculture and shipping. Due to recession in 2009, the country’s industrial production growth rate dropped to -0.9%.

Sri Lanka Industry Sectors: Major Industries

The major industries in Sri Lanka are:


Tourism Industry: Sri Lankan tourism sector has been a pillar of its economic development for a long time. The sector’s growth was shaken when due to the 2004 tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean. Therefore, the tourist arrival was below normal till 2007. The industry started picking up, although nominally, in 2008. The global economic recession during the late 2008 was a big blow to the country’s tourism industry. The figures of tourist arrivals started improving in August 2009 with 41,207 visitors arriving in the country that month. Around 447,890 visitors arrived in 2009 registering a rise of 2.1% over 2008. Due to post war boom, tourism revenue increased and it stood at $349.6 million (a rise of 2.2%). The country is aiming to earn $2 billion by 2016 by attracting 2.5 million tourists.


Tea Industry: Started in 1867, the tea industry is one of the biggest foreign exchange earners in Sri Lanka today. In 1995, it became the leading tea exporter of the world with 23% share as its total exports. A number of geographical factors, such as low temperature climate, the level of humidity, annual rainfall and central highlands of the country play a favorable role in abundant produce. The UK is one of its major clients for tea import. However, tea production had a steep fall in the earlier 2009 given to the soil fertility problems and severe drought.


Apparel and Textile Industry:  Sri Lankan apparel industry is world famous for manufacturing quality proven ready made garments. The US and Europe are amongst the major importers of garments produced in Sri Lanka. The country has around 900 garment manufacturing factories that work for world renowned brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria's Secret and Liz Claiborne.


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