Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment accelerates efforts to attract strategic investments
Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) has reportedly said it would continuously strengthen its foundation and lead the orchestration in attracting market transforming foreign direct investment (FDIs) while contributing substantially to the Sri Lankan government’s transformative economic agenda.
To facilitate this, the BOI has set in motion an investment outreach programme to target thrust sectors such as manufacturing, ICT, tourism and hospitality, agri and food processing, infrastructure, and other selected services, that offer the greatest impact to the Sri Lankan economy and its citizens to capitalise on, the Daily FT has reported.
According to the BOI, the strategy implementation would hinge on the two main thrusts of country attractiveness and revamping the BOI, through a seven-pillar approach, to enable its achievement. These seven pillars focus on creating a compelling investment climate, attracting targeted investments, providing potential investors with end-to-end investor support, fostering and nurturing partnerships with key public and private stakeholders, process monitoring, embracing technology, and, most importantly, developing the organisation and its people, the news report has stated.
However, enhancing FDIs for Sri Lanka remains a challenge, as the landscape remains fiercely competitive, both globally and within South and Southeast Asia and despite the debilitating effects of the pandemic, the BOI has been able to ink projects worth over US$ 2.3 billion in value in 2020 and lay the foundation for much needed transformational change of both the economic landscape of the country as well as the BOI organization, the news report has further stated.
Some of these projects are the establishment of two dedicated zones – one for pharmaceuticals in Hambantota, and the other for textile manufacturing in Eravur.
The zone in Eravur is expected to be operational in September this year and has already secured its first investment project approximating US$ 35 million, with additional investors already reserving land. Once operational, the zone is to generate 5,000+ employment opportunities, which is a significant step in the right direction for a region that otherwise ranks high on youth unemployment relative to the rest of the country.
Another strategic intervention that took place in collaboration with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), which was a marque public-private partnership (PPP) initiated to support transformational change, was the recently concluded Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021, the news report added.
Sri Lankan authorities are aggressively moving to attract foreign direct investments to the country. Sri Lanka’s attraction as an investment destination has increased given it’s geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country. The country is also engaged in an aggressive development programme aimed at taking the country to the next level of development. All these have expanded the business/investment opportunities in the country.
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