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    Sri Lanka Economy 2000

      Economy - overview: In 1977, Colombo abandoned statist economic policies and its import substitution trade policy for market-oriented policies and export-oriented trade. Sri Lanka's most dynamic industries now are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, telecommunications, and insurance and banking. By 1996 plantation crops made up only 20% of exports (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for 63%. GDP grew at an annual average rate of 5.5% throughout the 1990s until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-98 with growth of 6.4% and 4.7% - but slowed to 3.7% in 1999. For the next round of reforms, the central bank of Sri Lanka recommends that Colombo expand market mechanisms in nonplantation agriculture, dismantle the government's monopoly on wheat imports, and promote more competition in the financial sector. A continuing cloud over the economy is the fighting between the Sinhalese and the minority Tamils, which has cost 50,000 lives in the past 15 years.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $50.5 billion (1999 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 3.7% (1999 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,600 (1999 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 21%
      industry: 19%
      services: 60% (1998)

      Population below poverty line: 22% (1997 est.)

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: 1.8%
      highest 10%: 39.7% (1995-96 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (1999 est.)

      Labor force: 6.6 million (1998)

      Labor force - by occupation: services 45%, agriculture 38%, industry 17% (1998 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 9.5% (1998 est.)

      Budget:
      revenues: $2.7 billion
      expenditures: $4.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (1998 est.)

      Industries: processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco

      Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (1998)

      Electricity - production: 5.505 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - production by source:
      fossil fuel: 30.97%
      hydro: 69.03%
      nuclear: 0%
      other: 0% (1998)

      Electricity - consumption: 5.12 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

      Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

      Agriculture - products: rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef

      Exports: $4.7 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

      Exports - commodities: textiles and apparel, tea, diamonds, coconut products, petroleum products (1998)

      Exports - partners: US 40%, UK 11%, Middle East 9%, Germany 5%, Japan 4% (1998)

      Imports: $5.3 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

      Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, textiles, petroleum, foodstuffs (1998)

      Imports - partners: India 10%, Japan 10%, South Korea 8%, Hong Kong 7%, Taiwan 6% (1998)

      Debt - external: $8.4 billion (1998)

      Economic aid - recipient: $577 million (1998)

      Currency: 1 Sri Lankan rupee (SLRe) = 100 cents

      Exchange rates: Sri Lankan rupees (SLRe) per US$1 - 72.364 (January 2000), 70.402 (1999), 64.593 (1998), 58.995 (1997), 55.271 (1996), 51.252 (1995)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
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