Sri Lanka takes measures to attract foreign direct investments
Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has made two notable changes to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the country, Director General of Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI), Sanjaya Mohottala has sgtated.
Mohottala has made this observation while speaking at the presentation on Sri Lanka’s Economic Imperatives to an eminent group of participants at a webinar jointly organized by the Pathfinder Foundation and the Institute of South Asian Studies, of the National University of Singapore recently.
Among the participants were Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Shashikala Premaratne and High Commissioner of Singapore to Sri Lanka, S. Chandradas.
Mohottala has been quoted as saying that the two changes are (i) Elevating the BOI as an entity that provides direction to the national economy directly under the purview of the President and (ii) Creating a Cabinet Sub-Committee to address policy decisions needed to facilitate investments.
The Daily News has stated that the BOI DG has provided an overview of where Sri Lanka is as an economy, challenges it is facing, steps taken by the BOI and the Government to remove impediments in doing business, so as to create a conducive investment climate, and highlighted the sectors that are being prioritized to bring about inclusive growth to the country.
He has further clarified that the overall objective of the government of Sri Lanka was to achieve 6% – 7% GDP growth in the next 10 years while managing the balance of payments issue that the country is currently facing and also making certain that the growth achieved would be inclusive.
Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (Trade and Economics) at the ISAS, Dr. Amitendu Palit, has moderated the discussion and highlighted the impact that COVID 19 was having on Sri Lanka and the countries in the region.
The question and answer session according to the news report, has included the sharp negative forecasts made by agencies such as the ADB and IMF on South Asian economies, particularly that of India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka’s exemplary handling of the pandemic but possibly at the cost of its economy; specific plans of Sri Lankan institutions to attract major Indian IT companies; Sri Lanka’s Ease of Doing Business ranking and the reorganizing of supply chains in the region and the opportunity it creates for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, ease of doing business environment and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it a business hub in the South Asian region. Also, the government of Sri Lanka has recommenced its development programme opening up many business/investment opportunities in the country’s key economic sectors. Sri Lanka has been placed prominently in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as well. All these have added to Sri Lanka’s positioning as a business hub in South Asia.
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