The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was under Portuguese and Dutch rule in the 16th and the 17th century, and it became a British colony in 1796 when the island was given to the Kingdom of Great Britain. The country did not gain its independence from the United Kingdom until 1948, and is currently a presidential republic. It is divided into 9 provinces, and has 2 capitals: Colombo, which is the commercial capital, and Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, which has the role of being the administrative capital. The official languages spoken in the state are Sinhala and Tamil.
Sri Lanka’s economy was slightly weakened by the 2008-2009 economic crisis, but it quickly rebounded. Since 2010, gross domestic product has been progressively growing, picking up significantly after 2016. The country's growing economy is also a sign that the standard of living has been increasing for the Sri Lankans. In the last couple of years, the country’s GDP growth has been stabilizing at around 4 percent, and it is expected to continue this way. The services sector accounts for the lion's share of Sri Lanka's GDP generation and employs almost half of the labor force. One reason for this is the travel and tourism industry, which is amongst the most productive industries in the country. In 2016, travel and tourism contributed a total of 9.7 billion U.S. dollars to the Sri Lankan economy. Sri Lanka's most important import and export partners are China and the United States, respectively. Trade has been picking up, too, but even with export figures rising, Sri Lanka still heavily relies on imports, and thus has been reporting a trade deficit for years now.