Monday, October 30, 2017

A Word of Caution on Investing in Sri Lanka - Part 1

Occasionally you can come across some really jaw-dropping stuff living in a place like Sri Lanka. Some of it is out-of-this-world fantastic and some of it, not so much. This particular blog post is about some of the real experiences and stories that focus on the potential risks and dangers when it comes to investing in Sri Lanka. They can happen to anyone - locals and foreigners. If you haven't had any of these experiences, then count yourself lucky. And if you're new to Sri Lanka then maybe a few words of caution may come in handy when it comes to making investments.

There are many reasons why people look for opportunities to invest in post-war Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is still very much a developing country. Prior to the war Sri Lanka was considered one of the brightest emerging economies in South Asia. So there is undoubtedly plenty of opportunity for investors in the rebuilding and development of post-war Sri Lanka. Additionally, Sri Lanka has a forecast of around 4.5% to 5% GDP growth, which is higher than most countries globally.

In the past two years, almost every country via their embassy or trade development arm has entered Sri Lanka looking for investment opportunities. Areas for investment have included infrastructure projects, finance deals, mining and exploration, industry development, export initiatives, tourism and hospitality projects, large-scale property development, management consultancy and more. Plus, there are individual foreign investors also seeking investment opportunities in the stock market, property development, angel investing, or to set up small to medium-sized businesses and so on.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

An expat in Sri Lanka - the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 18

Only a few months ago I was making plans to throw a Decade in Sri Lanka party as a celebration of making it to the milestone of ten years on the island. A few friends were throwing out a few ideas about party themes as well as food and drink ideas. But then, a week ago, I was suddenly plagued with internal questions of whether the time had come for me to move on from Sri Lanka to another country, or repatriate myself back to the UK.

As an expat in Sri Lanka, I've seen my fair share of expats coming and going, yet I've always considered myself to be in for the long-haul. You've probably read that sentiment in many of my blog posts. But even so, I think as an expat it's important to regularly assess how things are going and whether expat life still works for you. This helps to keep you healthy and honest.

As with all things in life, change is the constant and it can have a positive or negative effect. In my case, plenty of change over the past decade has been largely positive, but in recent times, certain things have started to make me question whether this is still the right place for me.

One incident that happened a few months ago provides a good example of one of the things that has contributed to my current thought process. I was coming out the back of my house to the little herb garden to pluck some herbs. After doing that, I walked round to the front garden to gather some of the mangoes that had fallen from my fruiting mango trees. It was then that I stumbled upon an intruder up in one of my mango trees.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to be a successful expat in Sri Lanka

A common question from foreigners wishing to come and live in Sri Lanka is how to make their expat experience a successful one. It's probably a good idea to define what success means in this context. Success is usually defined as a favorable or desired outcome. In the context of an expat, success could be equated to accomplishing an overall favorable experience during their expat stint, or realizing a state of feeling at home in Sri Lanka.

Whether the expat experience is for a short-term placement, a one-year stint, or longer, the answer to the question of how to be a successful expat is much the same. Naturally, there may be some subtle differences as to how success feels for each individual, but essentially the desired outcome is the same.

Over the years I've learned a number of things about living as an expat in Sri Lanka. I've compiled a list of what I think contributes to a successful expat experience on the island. I hope you find something useful from the list.