Should Sri Lanka Business Culture be Changed to Attract Foreign Investments, to Produce Goods and Services to the Global Market
Fathima Shamila Suhaib
MBA UWIC – at ICBT Mount Campus
Batch No. 6
Student Number - 67
After worn out by the War for almost 30 years Sri Lanka is now rising high, like a Phoenix raising its wings of beauty. For many Global Business Giants this is very promising, many would see this as a Cinderalla Story “hidden in the kitchen now shining like a Princess…..” However Sri Lanka on its developing journey has planned many a routes to shine on the World Map, to attract foreign interest and investment and though the pearl of the Indian Ocean to shine like a new found star. On this context we would discuss how Sri Lanka should attract FDI to the country and should the Sri Lankan business culture be changed in order to attract Foreign Investments and Produce Goods and Services to the Global Market.
Sri Lankan Culture
Sri Lanka with its strong values, beliefs and rich heritage webbed around it has cultivated a strong rich culture and the Sri Lankan Business Culture though varies from organization to organization and industry to industry stems and thrives on this. To most, culture simply means “when, why and how we do things around here ….” And to many even a slight change in this will be seen as a threat to resist as they fear failure and not seen as an opportunity to move forward and succeed. Many just prefer to be stuck in their own “comfort zones” and they don’t realize the things they miss out and that the race is on. In order to come to a conclusion should the culture be changed, first we have to identify if with the present culture will we be able to achieve the purpose. As in many cases when the “matter in hand” is seen or shown larger than life the changes or adaptation follow on its course. For this we have to first identify the current position of FDI in Sri Lanka with the prevailing culture.
Foreign Direct Investments
Foreign Direct Investment to Sri Lanka during 2010 had fallen by 14% to US$ 516 million, as against the US$ 601 million in the year 2009 (Central Bank Annual Report 2010 – SL). Further the Central Bank Annual Report states that such a reduction may not entirely be unexpected given the adverse effects of the financial crisis on the global financial flow. According to UNCTAD statistics, Global FDI flows have declined by 16% to US$ 1.8 trillion in 2008 and by some 37% to US$ 1.1 trillion in 2009. Sri Lanka’s FDI data for 2010 further reveals how these FDI contributions: 59% from Infrastructure Development Projects, 31% from Manufacturing sector and 9% from Services sector. FDI flows for Agricultural sector was very minimal. It is very clearly seen in the report that many emerging and developing countries have more chance to attract FDI to their countries due to the increasing growth prospects, further it is seen Sri Lanka has a promising potential to attract FDI inflows to Sri Lanka mainly in the Services and Agricultural Sector.
How to Attract FDI to Sri Lanka
To realize the FDI potential of the Sri Lankan economy, the Sri Lankan government has taken several progressive steps to promote financial opportunities and to enhance the investment climate instead of ad-hoc and costly tax incentives. And also Sri Lanka had already commenced on a many a programmes to promote Tourism in conflict affected coastal areas. Yet tourism related FDI needs to strengthened further. Specially the language issues, talent management, skill enhancement etc. Many education programmes are to be commenced for these training developments. It is stated in the World Bank, Sri Lanka Standard 2008 Although Sri Lanka's literacy rate is significantly high when compared to many other Asian countries, the proficiency in English lanuguage remains low in Sri Lanka. English language skills have become the most skill requirement for the many sectors, and in as Tourism this is...
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