Currencies by Country:

What is the Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives Sri Lanka a B1 rating, with a positive outlook. Fitch has a stable outlook with a BB- rating. Finally, S&P last issued a B+ rating, with a positive outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

Central Bank Rate

The current central bank interest rate is 7.75%. This is the same as 2011, which was 7.00%.


In 2010 the total GDP was $49,551,751,282 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $2,375. It grew by 8.01% over the previous year.


The latest unemployment rate for 2012 is 4.20%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 171.14.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, and the head of state is President Mahinda Rajapaksa (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The rupee, LKR, is the official unit of currency of Sri Lanka. The currency is subdivided into 100 cents. The currency is unique in that it is the only currency that is printed vertically on the back. Like most currencies, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka issues the Sri Lankan rupee.

Travel Notes:

Since most shopkeepers in Sri Lanka do not have change   with them, it is worthwhile to break larger notes into the   smaller coins.The maximum local currency import and export is 1000   rupees. The import of Indian and Pakistani currency is   restricted. All other foreign currency imports are allowed,   however amounts over 5000 US Dollars must be declared.

Sovereign Ratings for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is not rated.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

Sri Lanka’s government is a republic. It consists of three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The president, who is considered both the head of government and the chief of state, heads the executive branch. The cabinet is appointed by the president with the consent of the prime minister, who is also appointed by the president. The president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term. The legislative branch is a unicameral body that consists of the Parliament. The Parliament holds 225 seats, where its members are elected by popular vote on the basis of a proportional representation, to serve 6-year terms. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The president appoints the judges for both courts.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State President Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government; Ratnasiri WICKREMANAYAKE (since 21 November 2005) holds the largely ceremonial title of prime minister Head of Government President Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005) Cabinet Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister Elections president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (two-term limit); election last held on 26 January 2010 (next to be held in 2016) Election Results Mahinda RAJAPAKSA elected president; percent of vote – Mahinda RAJAPAKSA 57.9%, Sarath FONSEKA 40.2%, other 1.9%

Key Economic Factors


Sri Lanka’s economy is very reliant on domestic trade. Making up about 21% of GDP, the largest single sector is wholesale and retail trade. Accounting for about 38% of total exports, those to the United States are Sri Lanka’s most important market. While leading import suppliers to Sri Lanka include India and Japan, other chief contributors are Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea.


Although the significance of the agricultural sector has declined somewhat, it is still an important portion of Sri Lanka GDP as it accounts for about one-fifth of national output and is the largest employer, with about one-third of the workforce. It’s also contains an indirect significance because of the many connections between agriculture, manufacturing, and services.

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