Sri Lanka Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022
Basic data
Capital Colombo
Population 21.56 crores
Language Sinhala and Tamil
Religion Buddhism (70.2%), Hinduism (12.6%), Islam (9.7%), Christianity (6.1%)
State system Democratic Socialist Republic
Head of State Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Head of government Wounded Wickremesinghe
Currency name Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Travel
Time shift +4.30 a.m. (in summer +3.30 a.m.)
ZÚ contacts
Ambassador No
Economic section M.Sc. Jakub Jaroš
Consular section M.Sc. Nicole Machova
PaulTrade No
Czechinvest No
Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 312.4
Economic growth (%) 3.5
Inflation (%) 6
Unemployment (%) 5.6

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia with a population of 22 million. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal and southeast of the Arabian Sea. Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with India and the Maldives. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is its legislative capital and Colombo is its largest city and financial centre.

Sri Lanka’s recent history has been marked by a twenty-six-year civil war that began in 1983 and ended in 2009, when the Sri Lankan armed forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Today, Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic state that is home to different cultures, languages ​​and ethnicities. The Sinhalese make up the majority of the nation’s population. The Tamils, who are a large minority group, also played an influential role in the island’s history. Other long-established groups include Moors, Burghers, Malays, Chinese and indigenous Veddas.

Sri Lanka is a democratic republic and unitary state that is governed by a semi-presidential system with a mixture of presidential and parliamentary systems. Sri Lanka is the oldest democracy in Asia. The current political culture in Sri Lanka is a contest between two rival coalitions led by the centre-left and progressive United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), an offshoot of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), and the relatively right-wing United National Party (UNP). Sri Lanka is essentially a multi-party democracy with many smaller Buddhist, socialist and Tamil nationalist political parties. As of 2021, the number of registered political parties in the country is 79. Of these, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), founded in 1935, is the oldest.

For administrative purposes, Sri Lanka is divided into nine provinces and twenty-five districts. The largest city is Colombo (561,000 inhabitants), followed by Kaduwela (252,000 inhabitants) and Maharagama (196,000 inhabitants).

The island has a long history of cooperation with modern international groups: it is a founding member of SAARC and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement. Sri Lanka is the highest ranked South Asian country in the Human Development Index and has the second highest per capita income in South Asia. However, the ongoing economic crisis has resulted in a collapsing currency, rising inflation and a humanitarian crisis due to severe shortages of essentials. Visit Animalerts for more information about Sri Lanka culture and traditions.

This summary territorial information is processed for the country that is so-called accredited. The information is provided in an abbreviated form.

Culture of business dealings

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public Holidays

Introduction

The business language is English. Business cards are a must. Courtesy is highly valued in Sri Lanka and personal kindness can play a role in securing business. Although punctuality is not as valued as in the Czech Republic, most appointments and similar obligations are relatively respected.

Addressing

Titles are very important and it is best to address partners directly using their professional title or Mr., Mrs. or Miss, followed by their last name.

Business meeting

Due to the small size of the country and the interconnectedness of trading partners, business interactions take place in the country’s only commercial center, the capital city of Colombo. As in other countries of the region, in Sri Lanka it is recommended to involve a local consultant in business activities. Without the help of a local representative, a foreign entity is hardly able to approach local structures and cooperate with them. Sri Lanka celebrates a large number of religious holidays, which are usually days off. It is also celebrated every full moon, when it is also a holiday. If a holiday falls on a weekend, the day off is usually moved to the first following working day. When planning trips to Sri Lanka, it is good to find out in advance whether there will be a holiday. There are incomparably more holidays in the country than in Europe, and they are all observed.

Formal attire is expected for business meetings. A handshake is common to initiate communication. Business meetings tend to be longer than is customary in the West, i.e. they start with typical conversations about the weather, sports, the businessman’s family, etc.

Communication

Face-to-face meetings are preferred over communication via telephone, letter or e-mail. English is preferred for business negotiations.

Recommendation

Before closing a deal, Czech companies should check the registration and creditworthiness of their Sri Lankan business partners. Information can be obtained especially from chambers of commerce – email addresses listed in chapter We also recommend using the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Colombo to check business partners or tenders.

Public Holidays

January 14 – Tamil Thai Pongal Day

January 28 – Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day

February 4 – National Day

February 26 – Navam Full Moon Poya Day

March 11 – Mahasivarathri Day

March 28 – Madin Full Moon Poya Day

April 2 – Good Friday

April 12 – Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day

April 13 – Sinhala & Tamil New Year Eve

April 14 – Sinhala & Tamil New Year

April 26 – Bak Full Moon Poya Day

May 1 – May Day

May 14 – Id-ul-Fitr

May 26 – Vesak Full Moon Poya

May 27 – Vesak Full Moon Poya Holiday

June 24 – Poson Full Moon Poya

July 21 – Id-ul-Adha

July 23 – Esala Full Moon Poya

August 22 – Nikini Full Moon Poya

September 20 – Binara Full Moon Poya

October 19 – Milad-Un-Nabi

October 20 – Vap Full Moon Poya

November 4 – Deepavali Festival Day

November 18 – Ill Full Moon Poya

December 18 – Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day

December 25 – Christmas Day

Sri Lanka Culture of Business