Join InterNations

The world's largest expat community

Find Out How to Get a Job and Work in Colombo

  • Connect with fellow expats in Colombo

  • Join exciting events and groups for expats

  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in Colombo

  • Sandro Pedace

    On coming to Colombo, I was dreading the culture shock. However, expats and local contacts gave me some great advice.

An amazing community is waiting for you!

Meet internacional people at local events

Socialize, enjoy hobbies, and make friends

Get info, and feel at home abroad!

Employment in Colombo

Local Economy

As the major industrial, commercial and administrative hub for the entire country of Sri Lanka, Colombo is an important business district with ample opportunity for employment or investment. The western province of the city alone accounts for roughly 50% of the country’s GDP, with the city itself boasting a GDP of 35 billion USD. The headquarters of the vast majority of Sri Lankan corporations can be found in the business districts of Colombo, including the Bank of Ceylon, Aitken Spence and Bharti Airtel Lanka. Some of the biggest industries which contribute to the economy of Colombo are the production and export of chemicals, glass, textile materials such as leather goods, cement and jewelry. Sri Lanka’s World Trade Centre can be found in the city. This 40 story high, twin tower complex is the home of some of Asia’s most prevalent commercial companies.

Job Hunting in Colombo

As Colombo is such a prominent business location, the jobs market is extremely competitive and expats seeking employment should be prepared to find job hunting a difficult task. Sri Lankan locals, particularly graduates, will be given priority over foreigners when it comes to filling coveted vacancies. Most expats find work in the private sectors of industries such as hospitality, travel and tourism and customer relations, where English as a first language is a benefit. The manufacture and sales of textiles, materials and clothing also provide interesting executive and managerial positions which some expats are interested in. With handy websites such as Sri Lanka Jobs and JobBook, foreigners can browse through an extensive selection of job listings, and make essential contacts, before even entering Colombo.

Income Taxation in Colombo

Anyone who is a resident in Colombo will be charged on a progressive scale tax rate on all of their taxable net income. Profits and earned income derived from overseas will also be assessed and are liable to be taxed by the Sri Lankan Inland Revenue. The tax rate ranges depending on the amount of income — from a minimum of 4% to a maximum of 24%. Employees and corporations are required by law to employ a PAYE system and deduct the taxable amount from a workers wages. More information and advice can be obtained from the Inland Revenue website.

May 30, 2024, 1:30 AM
25 attendees
Let's meet and spend another stunning evening between Colombo's skyline. "Indulge your senses at Ahasa, suspended 100 meters above, with handcrafted beverages and breathtaking ocean views, destined
Apr 25, 2024, 1:30 PM
16 attendees
You are cordially invited to join us for an unforgettable evening at the Cinnamon Lakeside Pool Bar on April 25th to celebrate the spirit of Avurudu! Join us amidst the serene ambiance of the poolsid
Mar 28, 2024, 12:30 PM
17 attendees
It was great every time to meet with you lovely people, and thank you for your enthusiasm to share a laugh and care too. This time we take pleasure in inviting you to another great event in a fabulou
Feb 29, 2024, 1:30 PM
18 attendees
It's time for us to embark on another exciting journey of exploration in Colombo! We're thrilled to extend this invitation to all global minds at InterNations Colombo community, to join us for anot

See all upcoming events for expats in Colombo

Our Global Partners

  • Sandro Pedace

    On coming to Colombo, I was dreading the culture shock. However, expats and local contacts gave me some great advice.

  • Isabelle Jacobs

    It was fun to find other cricket fans among the expats around here and watch some matches at a Colombo club together.

Our Global Partners

Like-Minded Expatriates in Colombo

Sri Lanka Guide Topics