Country Profile: Sri Lanka
CapitalSri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Official languagesSinhala, Tamil
Other languages and dialectsRodiya, Sri Lankan Creole Malay,
Area65, 610 sq km
Population19, 668, 000 (2008 est.)
CurrencySri Lankan rupee
Sinhalese and Tamil are official languages of Sri Lanka, but other languages widely spoken include Rodiya, Sri Lankan Creole Malay, Indo-Portuguese and Veddah.
Sri Lanka's workforce is mostly employed in agriculture. Typical agricultural produce includes sugarcane, rice, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, rubber, tea, coconuts, milk, eggs, beef and fish. The country's limited natural resources include graphite, limestone, gems, mineral sands, phosphates, clay and hydropower. Main industries in Sri Lanka are the processing of tea, rubber, coconuts, tobacco, telecommunications, banking, insurance, clothing, cement, textiles and petroleum refining. Sri Lanka's trading partners are the US, the UK, India, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Iran, China, Japan and Malaysia.
Tourism is a very important sector in Sri Lanka, and provides a considerable percentage of the country's GDP. The country's main export is tea, and this is the other most important sector for the economy.
Sri Lanka is in great part dependant upon foreign aid, with assistance provided via pledges from the US, IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan, and the EU.
Sri Lanka produces almost all of its power through hydroelectric plants in the central highlands. Hydroelectricity is a renewable, sustainable and environmental form of energy production, and by producing energy in this way the country is limiting its CO2 output, and thus minimising its damaging effects on such global issues as climate change and global warming.
Tourism is one of the most important industries in Sri Lanka, attracting millions of visitors each year to see its beaches, as well as its diverse cultural heritage and lush and mountainous areas. There are six heritage sights in Sri Lanka: Galle, Kandy, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruva, and Dambulla cave temple, as well as several nature reserves which also attract the tourist trade.
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