Sri Lanka has experienced significant improvements to available infrastructure which has been recognized as a national priority by successive governments. These include an ambitious program to develop and completely upgrade seaports around the island, the international airport, roads in the city of Colombo and highways connecting to other parts of the country, and power and telecommunication facilities.
Road & Rail
Sri Lanka’s transport system is based on a road network of approximately 100,000 km and a rail network of about 2,000 km linking Colombo with the rest of the country. Notable recent developments have been the Southern Expressway connecting Colombo and Matara in the deep South and the Airport/Katunayake Expressway. The Outer Circular Highway in the Western Province, and the Central Expressway which links Colombo and the Hill Capital of Kandy as well as the Southern Expressway Extension are nearing completion.
Sri Lanka is located at the intersection of major international shipping routes within the world’s busiest maritime transportation lanes. Due to this location advantage, Sri Lankan ports have continuously contributed to the development of the country. The Colombo Port is considered the busiest port in South Asia and according the Alphaliner Rankings 2017 is rated as the 23rd ‘Best Port in the World’. Able to cater to the latest ‘Triple E Class’ ships, 33 major shipping lines use the Colombo Port while 75% of port volumes are transhipment.
The Bandaranaike International Airport is the main international airport in Sri Lanka, located 30 km North of Colombo, with connectivity to major routes and 100 cities around the world. The Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport is the second international airport, located in the Southern Province of the country.
Sri Lanka’s telecom sector has been ahead of its regional peers for a significant period. At the end of 2017, cellular mobile subscriptions in Sri Lanka was 28.2 million, while fixed access telephone subscriptions stood at 2.5 million. Sri Lanka’s mobile market has experienced robust growth over the last five years with mobile penetration rising from 96% in 2012 to 126% in 2017 across the country. Mobile broadband penetration has also recorded a rapid growth over the past five years with market penetration increasing from 8% in 2012 to 21% in 2017. The availability of e-commerce applications including mobile banking, e-bus ticketing, and mobile Points of Sale (POS) continues to increase.