16th May 2011, www.island.lk
In the prevailing globalised business environment, the IT/BPO industry is emerging as one of the significant contributors to the Sri Lankan export market. However, due to the volatile and changing nature of the industry, much of the export revenue that is generated has not been clearly highlighted and recognised.
To address this gap, the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) together with the IT/BPO industry, has now launched the second ICT Export Value Survey for 2010, to identify the current export value of the industry, the board said in a statement yesterday (17).
The EDB carried out the first ICT Export Value Survey for 2006/2007. The survey identified 178 IT/ ITES export companies. It also identified the value of the IT/BPO exports to be US$ 173 million in 2006 which grew by 23% to US$ 213.2 million in 2007. The IT/BPO exports in 2007 depicted that its contribution as the fifth largest export earner for Sri Lanka. This finding also gives weight to the industry’s increasing potential of ultimately being one of the topmost players in the Sri Lankan export market.
Janaka Ratnayaka, Chairman and Chief Executive of the EDB, said, "There is a need to continuously measure the growth of the IT/BPO industry and its contribution to the country’s economy as the government has recognized the industry to be one of the key players in the Sri Lanka economy". The survey will show how far the industry has moved towards achieving its export revenue target of US $1 billion by the year 2015.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Sri Lanka, which carried out the initial survey in 2007, has been appointed to conduct the 2010 survey as well.
In addition to ascertaining the export value for the IT/BPO industry in 2010, the current survey will also capture the current status, developments and challenges in other operational areas of the industry. These include the service offerings, workforce, infrastructure, communications, markets, quality certifications and stakeholder support. Further, in light of the end of the war, it is expected that the IT/BPO industry would have appreciably changed and grown since the initial survey was conducted, and therefore the current survey is expected to capture and explore such changes.
The survey will commence in May 2011, with a selection of companies in the industry, being directly interviewed. The survey steering committee, formed by representatives of the EDB, the IT/BPO industry, the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, Board of Investment and SLASSCOM, encourage the IT/BPO industry to provide their fullest support and cooperation for this survey. The survey results will be the basis for Government policy decisions in the future regarding the ICT industry. Further, a summary report will be generated from the survey, on the ICT export industry in Sri Lanka, which can be used for global and regional comparisons and also as a baseline for planning industry strategy, the EDB statement said.
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