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Sri Lanka is a lower middle-­income country with a total population of approximately 21.0 million people and a per capital income of USD 3,924 in 2015. The commercial capital is Colombo with a population of 0.8 million people in the city and 5.6 million in the metropolitan area. Following a 30 year civil war that ended in 2009, Sri Lanka’s economy has grown at an average 6.4 percent between 2010-­ 2015, reflecting a peace dividend and a determined policy thrust towards reconstruction and growth. Sri Lanka’s economy transitioned from a previously predominantly rural­-based agriculture economy towards a more urbanised service driven economy.

Strong economic growth in the last decade has led to improved shared prosperity and an important decline in poverty. Taking cognizance of the changing development priorities, the government policy statement presented in November 2015 envisioned promoting a globally competitive, export-led economy with an emphasis on inclusion. It identified generating one million job opportunities, enhancing income levels, development of rural economies and creating a wide and strong middle class as key policy priorities.