Sri Lanka’s BOI to receive four projects for Industrial Zone for Fabric Processing Enterprises in Batticaloa
Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BoI) is to reportedly receive proposals to establish four projects at the newly approved 275-acre Industrial Zone for Fabric Processing Enterprises in Eravurpattu in the country’s Eastern Province district of Batticaloa.
Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAFF) Secretary General Tuli Cooray has told Daily FT that the industry was preparing initial paperwork to be handed over to the BoI to set up four projects. However, he declined to give details due to the investment being in the early stages of development.
“The industry had requested for this processing zone for a while now, and we had pledged to establish at least three projects to get it off the ground. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we nonetheless managed to increase the number of projects to four,” he has said.
He has further noted that the Sri Lankan government had decided to allocate Rs. 4.5 to Rs. 5 billion to assist with the establishment of the infrastructure needed for the zone, which will include power, water, roads and environmental approvals.
At the end of October, the Cabinet of Ministers had approved the establishment of the fabric processing zone and also gave the green light to declare the industrial zone as a ‘Strategic Development Project’.
The establishment of the zone has been identified as a priority project by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Industry, and is to see the Land Reforms Commission allocate 275 acres belonging to the commission to the BOI to provide investment incentives for companies interested in investing in the zone.
Establishing a fabric processing zone has been a goal of the apparel industry for several years, and experts had pointed out it could help the COVID-19-hit industry to weather turbulent external uncertainties, tap into global value chain changes, and recover faster.
The industry hopes to tap increased value addition encouraged by GSP+ and promote backward integration, resulting in the setting up of new industries and creating new employment opportunities in the country, the news report stated.
Sri Lanka’s manufacturing exports sector has shown resilience amidst the challenges posed by the global Covid 19 pandemic. This has resulted in an interest of foreign businesses/investors to explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s manufacturing exports sector, especially the apparel exports sector. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have further helped boost the country’s exports sector.
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