Sri Lanka to secure US$ 900 million investment this year - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka to secure US$ 900 million investment this year

Sri Lanka to secure US$ 900 million investment this year

Daily News: Sri Lanka has secured US$ 770 million of investments for 2021 so far and out of this US$ 400 million are Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). This number is expected to reach US$ 900 million by the end of 2021, said Chairman Board of Investments (BOI), Sanjaya Mohottala addressing a panel discussion hosted by the Association of Marketing Graduates Sri Lanka recently.

He said that approved BOI projects this year so far were US$ 1.4 billion and this would rise up to US$ 1.9 billion by end 2021 proving firstly Sri Lanka still sustains healthy investor appetite and also entrepreneurs rightly invest during adversities. One success story is HCL India which increased their investments and staff from a few hundred to 1,000 during the pandemic in Sri Lanka.

Group CEO, Dialog Axiata Supun Weerasinghe said that their company too made several investments in Sri Lanka during the pandemic and always invested at the right time and this has been very productive. “Since our investments were very productive the parent company in Malaysia too don’t have second thoughts to oblige. We sponsored the Sri Lanka Cricket team when they were performing poorly and we are getting the due mileage since the team’s performance has improved.” Commenting on Bangladesh financial discipline he said that the country foreign reserves which were at US$ 13 billion in 2016 increased to US$ 16 billion in two years and today it is over the US$ 40 billion mark.

Chairman Jetwing, Hiran Cooray said that not only Sri Lanka Tourism but the country branding needs to mature and move up to the next level. “Firstly we have Ceylon Tea, Cinnamon, Spices and now ‘Ceylon’ Sarongs. However surprisingly there is also another branding starting from ‘Sri Lanka’ for tourism and several other sectors. When we go overseas some people genuinely ask if there are two countries: Ceylon or Sri Lanka!”

He also said that when it comes to Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion authorities are still looking at the number of ‘heads’ visiting Sri Lanka and not at increasing revenue. Colombo University, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Prof. Srimal Abeyratne said Sri Lanka is a very resilient nation and in the past too have overcome many natural and manmade disasters and would also come out a winner from the present crisis.

He however said that a long term economic plan should be in place similar to Vietnam where its export revenue was on par with Sri Lanka at US$ 2 billion in 1990 and today while Sri Lanka’s export earnings are at US$ 10 billion Vietnam earnings are over US$ 280 billion.

Executive Director Aitken Spence, Dr Rohan Fernando commenting on the fertilizer issue said that decision should never be forced upon by the government for the industries. “The fertiliser ban will result in an overall production drop of around 30% next year.”

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s ongoing development programme and the positioning as an emerging business destination in the South Asian region have attracted foreign businesses/investors to explore opportunities in the island. Also, Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, the many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country and the continuously improving ease of doing business environment in the country have also helped further boost the country as a growing business/investment destination. The resilience of Sri Lanka’s economy to external and internal challenges through the years and once again returning to normalcy after facing the impact of the global Covid 19 pandemic have added to the business/investment confidence. Given the expanding opportunities, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/02122021/Z_8

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