Electronic/Electrical are one of the key industries of Sri Lanka which is increasingly converging, with the ICT sector. Preferential market access under the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement, Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement and the European Union Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) Scheme is an added advantage for Sri Lankan exporters of electronic/electrical products.
Sri Lanka has extensive deposits of high quality minerals such as kaolin, feldspar, silica sand, quartz and ilmenite, which could be used as a base material for electronic products.
Sri Lanka has the required attributes for export ventures in the electronics industry. For example, the status of Sri Lankan workers as among the best educated and most trainable in South Asia is especially relevant. Already there are seven universities in Sri Lanka producing graduates in the fields of electronics, engineering and computer studies. In addition there are four institutes providing training in electronics. Availability of middle level engineers and managers also contribute positively to the expansion of this industry. Sri Lanka has the potential for rapid development in the electronics industry in the South Asian Region. Research and development facilities and "troubleshooting" expertise for the electronics industry are available locally at several local institutes such as Arthur C. Clarke Centre and universities.
Sri Lanka offers a wide range of expertise in this field starting from R&D, product design with prototyping and mass manufacturing in line with the global standards.
Major products exported include boards and panels (41% of electronic components), electrical wires (23%), and transformers (21%) while other miscellaneous products make up the remainder. Employment generation in this industry is approximately 30,000 including top-calibre researchers and design engineers.
Sri Lankan exporters receive several added advantages and preferential market access under several bilateral and other agreements, including the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement and Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. Currently, there are an estimated 30 companies engaged in manufacturing and exporting electronic products.
The sector has been recognized as an important industry for the future of Sri Lankan exports. As such, in order to encourage and support electronics goods, Sri Lanka now has several advantageous attributes in place.
The field is popular amongst the students following undergraduate to post-graduate study programmes. Seven universities in Sri Lanka produce graduates in the fields of electrical, electronics and computer engineering. Four institutes including the renowned Arthur C. Clarke Centre, house research and development facilities as well as troubleshooting expertise with training.
Due to the advantages highlighted above, world-renowned giants in this field such as Motorola has been successfully leveraging Sri Lankan design talents over the last decade in designing some of their leading Enterprise Mobile Products. Few other independent design houses such as Zone 24x7 have already won global accolades for the successful design and prototyping of enterprise class solutions for leading global brands.
The availability of highly trainable youth and skilled professionals in the form of design engineers, manufacturing engineers and managers contribute positively to this growing industry, and to the country's already established competitive advantage of being able to harness South Asia's most highly educated, literate and trained workforces. Thus, Sri Lanka has the potential for rapid development in the global electronics industry.