Sri Lanka’s BOI to set up an on-line one-stop shop next year to facilitate FDIs
Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) with the assistance of the World Bank is to set up an on-line one-stop shop by mid next year in order to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country, BOI Chief Dumindra Ratnayaka has said.
This virtual platform of a ‘one-stop shop’ is now being developed to enable investors to obtain all key agency approvals without any hassle.
Ratnayake has said at a recent event in Colombo that the approval processes of at least 24 line agencies has been mapped and there will be consensus reached between those individual agencies and BOI on the simplest or shortest possible mechanism to grant approvals.
He has been quoted in the media as saying that this National Single Window will pave the way to establish a system that integrates those agencies dealing with various clearances/approvals in trading across borders.
The BOI will attract US$ 1 billion FDIs through foreign investment projects and its target for 2020 is US$ 5 billion, he has said adding that the approvals mechanism at BOI has been improved to avoid delays – a complaint frequently made many investors.
The FDIs of BOI enterprises to the country which was on a declining trend since 2014 with a drop of 37 per cent in 2015 and 17 per cent in 2016 has reportedly seen a slight turnaround in 2017 with an amount of US$ 711.2 million for the eight months up to August.
The BOI now uses a template developed in consultation with McKinsey to screen all applications, assesses quality of investors through a more robust and holistic approach, and provide responses to new applicants as soon as possible.
Outlining the investment project proposal appraisal process, Ratnayake has reportedly said that such proposals are submitted to the Single Window Investment Approval Committee (SWIAC) appointed by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management to evaluate and take a decision on approval.
He has explained that the projects approved by SWIAC are referred to an Investment Facilitation Committee (IFC) chaired by an Advisor to the Prime Minister to fast-track the external approvals/clearances etc to prevent existing bottlenecks hampering projects.
The on-line one-stop shop mooted by the BOI would help foreign investors entering the country to engage in their businesses without a hassle through a virtual portal. It would remove road blocks that exist at present for investors when looking at investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/04122017/Z_2|