1. Increase foreign currency bank deposits by USD5 billion in the next 5 years.
    1. Issue a 10-year residence visa for foreign citizens who would deposit USD100,000 in banks for 10 years in Sri Lanka.
    2. If this scheme is initiated, Sri Lanka can generate USD5 billion of foreign currency deposits.
    3. To achieve the target of USD5 billion in foreign currency deposits, 50,000 residence visas need to be issued in the next 5 years, each year 10,000 residence visas are to be issued.
    4. Thereby, foreign currency deposits of USD1 billion per annum can be secured by initiating the above scheme.
    5. In addition, an online application system and approval process should be in place for foreign currency bank account openings.
  2. Extend the tourist visa validity period for 6 months to increase tourism revenue by 10%.
    1. Permit the issuance of six-month tourist visa instead of one-month tourist visa.
    2. By introducing a six-month tourist visa, the estimated tourism revenue of USD4.5 billion per annum can be increased by 10%, i.e. an additional tourism revenue of USD450 million.
  3. Current outflow of USD2.5 billion due to students studying abroad is to be reduced by 20%, which will save USD500 million. In addition, Sri Lanka can earn USD2.5 billion inflows by attracting international students.
    1. Currently, 35,000 new students are leaving the country for higher studies in a year. In addition, 70,000 students are already engaged in foreign universities for higher studies as 2nd or 3rd-year students.
    2. Since 105,000 Sri Lankan students have chosen foreign universities for their study purposes, there is a foreign currency outflow of USD2.5 billion per annum.
    3. To reduce USD2.5 billion outflow by 20% and to attract more international students, below actions are to be taken,
      1. Local private higher education institutions such as NSBM, SLITT, and E-Soft are to be established with the approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and to be recognized as private universities in Sri Lanka.
      2. Offer tax holidays and other incentives for new private university establishments and existing small-capacity private universities for their expansions.
      3. Global rankings of Sri Lanka’s public universities to be improved.
      4. Introduce an International Education Strategy to attract more international students and through the strategy to initiate a program, named “Study in Sri Lanka” to attract international students to select Sri Lanka as their higher educational hub.
      5. A task force should be formed and targets to be given to attract 35,000 foreign students to Sri Lanka via the “Study in Sri Lanka” program. This will negate the current outflow of USD2.5 billion, which is a cause of 35,000 local students going aboard for their higher education.
    4. An annual saving of USD500 million can be achieved by initiating this action item.
  4. Introduce international student visas to earn foreign student fees and increase international education income
    1. Private higher education institutions such as NSBM, SLITT, CINEC, E-Soft, Horizon, and IIT should be allowed to enrol international students based on 3 to 4-year student visas.
    2. Following best practices of global student visas issued by countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the USA, an online student visa application system should be introduced.
    3. Through this, 35,000 international student visas should be issued as a solution to the current outflow of USD2.5 billion from 35,000 local students studying abroad.
  5. Increase foreign worker remittances from USD7 billion(pre-Covid) to USD24 billion per annum by forming a 10 - year plan.
    1. Increase monthly funds sent by migrant workers from USD290 to USD1,000.
    2. Monthly, 2 million migrant workers on average send USD290 to their families as funds during the pre-Covid period.
      1. In order to increase monthly funds from USD290 to USD1,000, the Sri Lankan migrant workforce should be given the necessary qualifications and training, targeting foreign countries that offer high-salary jobs. With this implementation, Sri Lanka can earn foreign worker remittances of USD24 billion per annum within a 10-year period.
      2. Due to Covid19, the number of workers departing from Sri Lanka has decreased when compared to pre-Covid19 period. Form a committee to identify current challenges and find solutions to increase the number of workers departing from Sri Lanka.
      3. Maintain Telegram groups per foreign country to improve conditions in the sector of foreign employment for Sri Lankan migrant workers.
        1. Invite all Sri Lankan migrant workers who are working/used to work in other countries to join the relevant country’s Telegram group.
        2. The main objective of this group is to collect the above segments’ views and suggestions they might have for further improvement opportunities within Sri Lanka’s foreign employment.
        3. A dedicated team should be appointed by the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau to collect these ideas.
        4. On a weekly basis conduct meetings to take necessary actions to solve/ find solutions to current challenges or to implement various new methods to develop this sector.
        5. This team should report to the Minister of Foreign Employment on a weekly basis with the identified challenges and solutions given.
      4. Sri Lankan foreign employment agencies should conduct monthly performance reviews on the number of foreign jobs they may have secured for Sri Lanka with the Minister of Foreign Employment.
      5. Initiate a program for all Sri Lankan foreign missions based in various countries to find and share what are the most in-demand and highest paid jobs in their destinations. Ensure Sri Lankan migrant workers are placed at those destinations for high-salary jobs.
      6. For those jobs, develop teaching and training materials following global best curriculums.
      7. Maintain a skill development Telegram group to provide training and improve the skills of migrant workers.
      8. Short videos on subjects such as personal development, behavioural training, best grooming & hygiene practices, language training, customer service, and other related video materials to share for all to access.
      9. Conduct Government-sponsored workshops for foreign employment agencies to increase overseas job placement numbers for Sri Lankan migrant workers.
      10. Launch a website that would contain details of available global jobs for Sri Lankan migrant workers to access.
      11. Develop the existing eldercare assistant vocational program and increase the number of eldercare assistant migrant workers to earn USD1 billion inward worker remittances.
        1. Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission and the private sector should collaborate and create a plan to produce 100,000 migrant workers as eldercare assistants targeting the Europe market.
        2. Necessary training should be given targeting a monthly salary of USD1,200 or more for the migrant worker.
        3. Short courses that can be completed within 3 months’ time should be introduced under the eldercare assistant TVET program.
        4. For example, the University of Moratuwa, and DP Education launched a free online course that can be completed in a short period of time. The course Trainee: Full Stack Development, can be accessed via
        5. Advanced Level bio stream students who are competent in the English Language can be selected for eldercare assistant vocational program.
      12. If 100,000 elder care assistants are produced with a monthly salary of USD1,200, Sri Lanka can earn USD1 billion worth of inward worker remittances.
      13. Identify all other on-demand overseas jobs, such as patient care assistants, drafters, bricklayers, air conditioning and mechanical services plumbers, and hairdressers, and create/update existing TVET curriculums targeting those on-demand jobs. Refer to other countries’ skilled migration occupation lists to identify more high-demand jobs.
      14. Produce a pool of migrant workers, by setting physical and medical standards such as height-weight proportionally, age, eyesight, and awareness on general health habits as key focus areas in introducing these standards.
      15. All services of the Foreign Employment Bureau, i.e., services to migrant workers such as passport services, pre-departure approvals & loan facilities, and services to recruitment agencies such as obtaining and renewal of licenses and approval to recruit to be established in all 24 districts via “District Multi-Service” centers.
      16. In addition, following services should be catered to in all 24 districts through “District Multi-Service” centers.
        1. Services of the Department of Immigration and Emigration including the issuance of passports.
        2. Services of the Department for Registration of Persons including the issuance of National Identity Cards.
        3. Consular services provided through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
        4. Services of the Police Department including police and forensic reports.
        5. Services of the Department of Labour including withdrawal of EPF, ETF, and other funds.
        6. Services of the Ministry of Education and Department of Examinations.
        7. Services of the Department of Law and Justice.
      17. Collaborate with employment agencies in other countries to find jobs for Sri Lankan migrant workers.
        1. Yearly, USD1.3 billion savings can be made by initiating above mentioned activities.
  6. Increase foreign direct investments.
    1. Increase regional competitiveness by introducing tax holidays and other incentives.
    2. Appoint a committee to improve the rankings of,
      1. Global Innovation Index
      2. Corruption Perception Index
      3. Global Competitiveness Index
  7. Generate USD5 billion from ICT earnings.
    1. Existing state university-owned ICT, engineering, and programming degrees are to be made available for private education institutions to use and offer as external degrees for their students. Every 6 months, exams can be held following the procedures of state universities. Over a 5-year period, 500,000 students should get educated and enter the IT industry.
      1. For example, the University of Moratuwa, and DP Education launched a free online course on Trainee: Full Stack Development, which is accessible for all. Website to access the course is
    2. To increase the student enrolment number in ICT, public universities should also make their ICT related courses available online by 10 times. This will lead to a high number of students getting ICT qualified and industry ready to enter the ICT field.
    3. As a result, ICT related earnings can reach up to USD5 billion.
    4. An additional earning of USD750 million per annum can be achieved by initiating above mentioned suggestions.
  8. Establish budget airline hubs to generate USD2 billion.
    1. In countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, 50% of tourist arrivals are on budget airlines.
    2. In Sri Lanka, out of the 80,000 hotel rooms, only 30,000 hotel rooms are classified as 5 or 4 stars or any star category. The remaining 50,000 hotel rooms are in the budget accommodation category.
    3. In order to generate USD2 billion from budget airline hubs, following initiatives to be executed,
      1. Transform Rathmalana and Mattala airports into international budget airline hubs.
      2. Attract more low-cost carriers (budget airlines) to arrive in Sri Lanka to accommodate low-cost carrier passengers.
        1. With the above initiative, additional 1 million tourist arrivals can be expected. This would result in generating USD2 billion in earnings.
      3. Encourage the establishment of domestic airline services.
      4. Existing airports in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Koggala and Digana in Kandy should attract high volumes of domestic aircraft by initiating the following,
        1. Landing, ground handling, and parking rates are to be revised and reduced to increase the affordability for domestic airline carriers.
        2. As a result, the economic benefits of tourism will spread to far corners of Sri Lanka.
    4. Annual income generation of USD2 billion can be achieved through the above-mentioned initiatives.
  9. Generate USD600 million income with coconuts.
    1. Annually, 1.5 million coconut seedlings are planted. Through a 5-year program, 20 million additional new seedlings are to be planted. This is achieved by planting additional 4 million seedlings every a year.
    2. As a result, 1.2 billion nuts are produced as an additional harvest.
    3. If one coconut product is sold at an export price of USD0.50, from 1.2 billion coconuts, an income of USD600 million can be generated.
  10. Outward payments can be deposited in USD to earn interest payments in USD.
    1. Outward payments such as dividend payments, travel, construction, insurance, telecommunication, computer service, royalty, and air and sea transport fees can be converted to USD and deposited.
    2. These can be deposited for a 3-year period with an interest rate decided by the Government. For example, at an interest rate of 6%.
    3. An annual deposit of USD300 million can be received by implementing this action item.
  11. Save USD1 billion by allowing the private sector to invest in new power plants powered by solar or coal in Norochcholai and Sampur.
    1. For the current 900MW power generation using coal, the total coal consumption cost at the current market price is USD50 million per month. Thus, the annual coal consumption cost to generate power is USD600 million.
    2. In addition, the current 900MW power generation using diesel and furnace oil cost at the current market price is USD135 million per month. Thus, the annual cost of fuel is USD1,620 million.
    3. As cost-saving power generation solutions, below 2 options are proposed,

    Option 1: Solar farms

    1. To generate 900MW of power to consume at day time, 2,000MW new solar farms should be constructed.
    2. As a result, current 900MW power generation at daytime using fuel, which has an annual fuel cost of USD800 million, can be replaced by new solar farms.
    3. Thermal powered plants should only be operational at nighttime to generate electricity needed to use at nighttime.
    4. Private sector should be allowed to invest in the construction of 2,000MW new solar farms.
    5. By implementing option 1, a saving of USD800 million can be achieved.

    Option 2 : Coal power plant

    1. Current diesel and furnace oil power plants that generate 900MW can be replaced by constructing an additional new coal plant for 300MW in Norochcholai and by constructing a new coal plant in Sampur for 600MW. By replacing the fuel power plant with coal, the annual fuel cost of USD1,620 million is now replaced with an annual coal cost of USD600 million, hence an annual saving of USD1 billion is achieved.
    2. Private sector companies should be given the opportunity to invest in constructing the 2 power generation plants in Norochcholai (300MW) and Sampur (600MW).
    3. Annually, USD800 million from option 1, and USD1 billion from option 2 can be saved.

  12. Save USD200 million on Palm oil.
    1. To save USD200 million outflow, lift the ban on planting palm oil trees.

Economic Revival of Sri Lanka

  1. Sri Lanka has an annual shortage of inflows of USD6 billion to accommodate basic needs such as fuel, gas, medicine, fertiliser, and food.
  2. By implementing the proposed 12 key strategies, an additional annual income of USD8 billion can be generated as future cash inflows.
  3. To effortlessly build confidence in Sri Lanka’s macro-economic stability and assist in unlocking international financing from International Financial Institutions (IFIs) such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Bank (WB), additional cash inflows as suggested in the above action plan are to be generated, to reduce the deficit in the balance of payments.