The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MODSIT) and the World Bank are jointly conducting a joint program of technical assistance and advisory services to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector and unleash the potential of Sri Lankan exports.
Sri Lanka is the 71 most competitive nation in the world out of 138 countries ranked in the 2016-2017 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum. Competitiveness Rank in Sri Lanka averaged 69.64 from 2007 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 81.00 in 2007 and a record low of 52.00 in 2012
The program aims to address the most significant obstacles to the creation of new private enterprises and the growth of existing ones; the attraction of efficiency-seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country; and the growth of higher added-value exports. Ultimately, the program responds to the vision of the GoSL to facilitate the transformation of the economy through exports and private sector growth. In turn, thriving and competitive private enterprises are expected to be the source of new jobs.
Under this collaboration, the Government of Australia has made available 6 million Australian Dollars that will enable the provision of technical assistance by the World Bank to MODSIT and other public sector stakeholders on areas including improvement of the investment climate; enhancement of the ability to attract FDI; elimination of policy and regulatory barriers to trade; development of export-oriented Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and high-growth start-ups; and sustainable and inclusive growth of the Tourism sector.