The U. S. Department of States, in its 2021 Investment Climate Statement, identifies Sri Lanka as a challenging place to do business, with high transaction costs aggravated by an unpredictable economic policy environment, inefficient delivery of government services, and opaque government procurement practices.
The statement, published on its website, says investors noted concerns over the potential for contract repudiation, cronyism, and de facto or de jure expropriation.
It says public sector corruption is a significant challenge for U.S. firms operating in Sri Lanka and a constraint on foreign investment.
“While the country generally has adequate laws and regulations to combat corruption, enforcement is weak, inconsistent, and selective. U.S. stakeholders and potential investors expressed particular concern about corruption in large infrastructure projects and in government procurement. The government pledged to address these issues, but the COVID-19 response remains its primary concern. Historically, the main political parties do not pursue corruption cases against each other after gaining or losing political positions,” the statement said