Sri Lanka

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Embassies and consular services for Sri Lanka

Location Service areas
High Commission for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
New Zealand High Commission to Sri Lanka Maldives

Our relationship with Sri Lanka

New Zealand and Sri Lanka have a longstanding friendly relationship. New Zealand and Sri Lanka have committed to establishing reciprocal high commissions in the coming years. We also enjoy strong rivalry on the cricket pitch, and we’re making more sporting connections through rugby, which is growing in popularity in Sri Lanka. There are approximately 16,000 Sri Lankans living in New Zealand.


2019 (year to July) statistics

Total trade in goods 

$464 million


Exports to Sri Lanka

$402 million

Top exports: milk powder, butter and dairy spreads, apples, pears, and quinces

Imports from Sri Lanka

$62 million

Top imports: tea, clothing, retreaded or used pneumatic rubber tyres, rubber

GDP (2018)

US$89 billion

GDP per capita (2018) US$13,729  
GDP growth (2018) 3.2%  


New Zealand supports development in Sri Lanka through the offering of Commonwealth Scholarships and providing funds to the United Nations and partner NGOs delivering agricultural activities in Sri Lanka.

There are currently three New Zealand-funded agricultural assistance activities. Since 2013, New Zealand has provided more than $10.5 million towards these activities. The private sector also supports dairy sector initiatives.

There are opportunities for New Zealand NGOs to apply for funding from New Zealand’s Aid Programme’s Partnerships Fund, which focuses on sustainable economic development initiatives. 

Find out more about the Partnerships Fund

Sri Lankans can apply for Commonwealth Scholarships, for postgraduate study in New Zealand universities.

Find out about Commonwealth Scholarships


Recent official visits

New Zealand to Sri Lanka

  • 2019: Minister of Justice Andrew Little visited Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Law Ministers' Meeting

  • 2017: Minister of Food Safety David Bennett visited Sri Lanka and met with a range of Ministers
  • 2016: Prime Minister Key visited Sri Lanka accompanied by a large business delegation.
  • 2014: Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy visited Sri Lanka to promote New Zealand’s co-hosting of the Cricket World Cup
  • 2013: Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully visited Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
  • 2013: Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully visited Sri Lanka twice (June and August) to discuss a range of issues including bilateral trade and preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting
  • 2012: Minister for Primary Industries David Carter visited Sri Lanka to discuss the bilateral economic relationship

Sri Lanka to New Zealand

  • 2017: Minister for Rural Economic Affairs P. Harrison visited New Zealand
    2017: Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama visited New Zealand and met with a range of New Zealand Ministers and stakeholders
  • 2016: Prime Minister Wickremesinghe visited New Zealand accompanied by four ministers and a business delegation
  • 2015: Minister for Tourism and Sports Dissanayake visited New Zealand for the opening of the Cricket World Cup. Minister Dissanayake was the first Minister from the new Sri Lankan government to visit New Zealand
  • 2014: Minister of External Affairs Peiris visited New Zealand, the first ever visit by a Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister to New Zealand


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