The service sector is the largest component of GDP (54%). In 2003, the service sector continued its strong expansion, fueled primarily by strong growth in telecom, tourism, and financial services. Public administration and defense expenditures have remained steady. Repatriated earnings of Sri Lankans working abroad continued to be strong. There also is a small but growing information technology sector, especially software development and exports.
The Sri Lankan software industry even though still small has grown quite impressively. Exports which stood at around US$ 5.0 million in 1996 increased to approximately US$ 58.0 in 2001 and were estimated to be about US$ 80.0 million at the end of 2003 according to the Central Bank report.
Growth of Software Exports
The Software Exporters Association (SEA) has targeted to achieve total exports of US$ 1.0 billion in 2012 and their growth plan is as follows:
- Work force to be increased from 5,000 in 2004 to 25,000 in 2012
- Exports to be increased from US$ 80M in 2004 to US$ 1,000M in 2012
- Yield per employee to be increased from US$ 20 in 2004 to US$ 40 in 2012
There are currently over a 175 software development companies in Sri Lanka actively involved in the development software products and providing services for both the export and domestic markets.
Some of the Sri Lankan firms and their products that have made a mark on the international scene are; Millennium Information Technologies - who not only turned the Colombo stock exchange in Sri Lanka into the world's first ever "event-driven" exchange but with their versatile automated trading system have powered the Boston stock exchange among several other clients in the United States, as well as exchanges in Europe, Asia Pacific and African regions; Virtusa Corporation - one of the fastest growing...