Country Profile (Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and known as Ceylon before 1972, is an island country in South Asia, located about 31 kilometres (19.3 miles) off the southern coast of India, a nation whose common culture, language and religion are shared. Sri Lanka has a population of 21 million and its land area is 65,610 sq. km.

As a result of its location in the path of major sea routes, Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population; Tamils, who are concentrated in the north and east of the island, form the largest ethnic minority. Other communities include Moors, Burghers, Kaffirs, Malays and the indigenous people.

The country is famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, coconuts, rubber and cinnamon - which is native to the country. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka's tropical forests, beaches and landscape, as well as its rich cultural heritage, make it a world famous tourist destination.

Colombo Port Expansion

The overall Colombo South Harbor development project comprises over 6km of breakwater where as main breakwater 5km; secondary breakwater 1km long . This is sufficient for the development of three full container terminals (total capacity 7.2 million TEU), each with a quay length of 1200m and a land area of 62ha, designed for vessels up to 400m length.

This will bring the total to five container terminals in the Port of Colombo, with a capacity of some 14 million TEU per annum. The Colombo South Harbor project will more than double the size of the Port of Colombo

Colombo enjoys a strategic position close to East/West trade routes; adjacent to the Indian Sub-Continent. This pivotal location is ideally suited to serve transshipment traffic and Srilankan government has taken initiative in investing USD 1.2 billions for the port expansion which has been officially inaugurated for partial operation as of today. 75% of the total throughput is transshipment and the economies of the region are set to rapidly expand.

•Domestic imports/exports would increase from 0.55 million TEU in 2002 to 2.3 million TEU in 2015, and 4.3 million TEU in 2020.

•Total throughput would rise from 1.8 million TEU in 2002 to 6.5 million TEU by 2015, and 19 million TEU by 2020

•Expansion would be needed for transshipment traffic and to retain hub status and becoming Asian shipping hub is very much feasible.