Sri Lanka information technology exports surge
Sri Lanka’s earnings from information communications technology (ICT)
services and products grew strongly this year after rising sharply last
year, officials said. ICT and BPO (business process outsourcing) exports
shot 47 percent to 310 million US$ in 2010-11 from the year before and
will remain strong, a new survey by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers has found.
The sector has 175 firms employing 16,000 people, which is expected
to grow as more foreign investment comes in. Chairman of the Export
Development Board, Janaka Ratnayake said.
The growth rate should enable ICT and ITES (information technology
enabled services) sector to reach a billion dollars in export earnings
before 2015, he told a news conference.
Chairman of the EDB’s advisory committee for the ICT and BPO sectors
Mano Sekaram said the PwC survey of 175 firms was needed to find out how
the sector was performing.
“This industry is a new industry,” said Sekaram, who is also general
secretary of the industry body, SLASSCOM, Sri Lanka Association of
Software and Services Companies.
“Transactions take place over the Internet and there’s no customs
declaration of exports out of the country because you send software and
services over the wire - there’s no physical transaction.”
The PwC survey report stated that the IT export industry earned $250
m while BPOs earned $60 m in 2010-11, up from $161 m and $48 m the year
The main markets for ICT exports are Europe, USA, and South Asia
while the main markets for BPOs are the US, Europe, Canada and mature
The officials said the industry expects to maintain the growth
momentum although economic crises in key markets might reduce growth
rates from existing high levels.
However, IT sector export earnings were on track to reach the target
of a $ one b by 2015, Ratnayake said.