Gaining momentum from the rapid development emerging in Asia and Africa, Sri Lanka's promising construction exports sector is a sphere that has been growing from strength to strength in recent years. Over the last few years, the construction market in Sri Lanka has grown more modestly as the country looks to shift toward a services-led economy and more sustainable construction policies.
Sri Lanka's construction service exports stand out not only for its expertise, but also for its cost effectiveness. While the sector has developed in leaps and bounds in terms of technology and skills development, it can be said that the expertise in this field has always flown in the island, passing on from one generation to another.
Within the construction umbrella, the country is popular for its solutions in minis hydro projects, a unique area where the country stands tall. Sri Lanka's expertise is also sought after for hydraulic related construction, architecture, quantity surveying, Mechanic, Electrical and Plumbing Services, civil engineering, general construction and green construction.
In a bid to stay abreast with the ever-evolving operative environment, Sri Lanka's construction sector has pumped in added efforts by ways of technological knowhow and skills development to cater to its regional peers in this category via exports. The country has also embarked on a number of international projects together with countries such as Japan and China, allowing for exposure to global expertise, thus facilitating knowledge transfer.
Looking at potential markets, Sri Lanka is eyeing countries such as East African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia and Nepal to export its construction services.
With the foundation for the uplifting of this service sector having been laid, the government has been taking additional efforts to exert a further push. Plans are afoot to expand investments in developing the skills of construction workers so they can be deployed at international project sites.
While challenges remain in exporting skills to markets that avail the service of Sri Lanka, the government has expressed that it looks engage in conversations with partnering countries in relaxing laws pertaining to construction labour exports on a project basis.
In line with the government's determination in making Sri Lanka a service led economy, the Export Development Board (EDB), the apex organization for the promotion and development of exports, together with key stakeholders, is on the active lookout for potential markets that will help make construction services a key revenue earner to the national economy.