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Sri Lanka issues over 25,000 visas for expat professionals, skilled workers: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has issued over 25,000 visas for professionals and skilled workers to work in the country, a media report said, amid skill and labour shortages cropping up in many sectors.

Controller General of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka Nihal Ranasinghe was quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror newspaper that in view of fast growth in some sectors the border agency was trying to approve visas without being too restrictive.

However there has been complaints that it is very difficult for fast growing sectors like IT to get temporary workers on contract as the process involves too many agencies and too long.

Sri Lanka was a net importer of labour before independence.

In 1951, a money printing central bank was set up, laying the foundation for deficit spending, as well as draconian exchange and trade controls and protectionism, which strangled the economy by robbing economic freedoms of the people.

Expropriation, state monopolies and nationalist regulations also killed economic activity expanding unemployment to 20 percent by the 1970s.

From 1978 some economic freedoms were restored and foreign investment was invited. Ranasinghe said Board of Investment projects and construction project like the port city project were among the employers of foreign labour.


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