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Lanka’s ICT exports will hit $ 1 bn mark this year, beating forecasts: Rishad

11 March 2015 05:28 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) exports will reach the US$1 billion milestone this year, one year ahead of projections, according to Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen.
“The exports revenues of ICT reached US$ 720 million in 2013 and estimated to be US$ 815 million in 2014. We believe that this year Lanka ICT exports will hit the $ 1 billion mark, a year before previous forecasts.”
The ICT sector has been given a target of reaching US$5 billion of exports by 2022, through business process outsourcing and software development.
“This ensuing collaboration with Japan would cater to these efforts positively. It’s good to understand that Japan has identified Sri Lanka’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector as the most important sector for Japan to work with,” Bathiudeen said addressing a delegation of visiting Japanese IT experts in Colombo.
He further added that the government has planned to increase Sri Lanka’s IT literacy from the current 35 percent to 75 percent by 2016 through a national plan of public private investment related to ICT education and training.
The Japanese experts in return expressed desires to conduct business with the Sri Lankan ICT industry.
“In Sri Lanka, we are looking for mutual market opportunities and tie-ups. It is possible for both business and systems integration in form of JV or BPO/Outsourcing,” Nippon RAD Inc. Strategic Planning Division Corporate Officer Tsuyomu Tsuchiyama said.
Japan External Trade Organization Colombo Resident Representative Kazuhiko Obama said that yesterday’s event was the first 
of many.

“We are planning to conduct the follow-up, the Business Matching event in October this year in Tokyo. Before that Sri Lanka’s EDB will bring a Lankan ICT sector delegation to Tokyo for Japan IT Week this May,” he noted.
Japan in 2014 produced US$362 billion in its IT and electronics sector. Fourteen percent of the total was in IT/software solutions, while 86 percent was in hardware manufacturing such as computers, semiconductors, communication equipment, and display terminals. 
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