Sri Lanka’s government steps up efforts to achieve an export-oriented economy.
Daily FT: The Government has stepped up its efforts to achieve an export-oriented economy, whilst creating an investment conducive environment to boost foreign direct investment into the economy.
A high-level discussion to review the progress, initiatives and challenges of Sri Lanka thus far was held under the patronage of Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana and Investment Promotions State Minister Dilum Amunugama recently.
Industries Ministry Secretary Thilaka Jayasundara, Industry Ministry and Investment Promotion State Ministry Additional Secretaries, senior officials representing Sri Lanka Industrial Development Board (SLIDB), Geological Survey and Mining Bureau (GSMB), Export Development Board (EDB), Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI), and Ceylon Mineral Sand Company (CMSC) attended the discussion.
It was discussed to enhance new investment opportunities by extending maximum facilities for investors to boost FDIs amidst the ongoing economic crisis.
Dr. Pathirana highlighted several value-added industry programs that are being implemented by many institutions including; Cement Plant in Kankasanthurai, Chemical Plant in Paranthan, the Salt Company, and Ceramic Corporation, whilst noting they are also working to start with new investors.
“Measures have been introduced to promote investments related to value-added industries. Special emphasis has also been given to protect local resources for sustainable development of the economy,” he stressed.
Minister Dr. Pathirana also stated that steps have been taken to create a land bank, noting that for future investments, the required State land will only be issued through this.
State Minister Amunugama noted that all the necessary legal and practical situations will be facilitated through the intervention of the Ministry.
He also said that an Investment Facilities Centre and Investment Facilities Centre Committee are being set up in the immediate future.
“Efforts should also be made to increase investment opportunities through a joint mechanism implemented by the SLIDB, BOI and EDB,” he added.
Industries such as mineral sands, which have more investment opportunities, were widely discussed.
Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and exports sectors have recorded positive growth rates amidst challenging economic conditions. Local businesses engaged in these two sectors have also posted impressive profits, indicating the growth and business potential in these sectors. Therefore, Sri Lanka’s exports industry has become one of the country’s key revenue generators. All these are indicative of the country’s economic resilience as well as the growth and business potential of the export sector. The many trade agreements and trade concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped boost Sri Lanka’s exports sector. It is this reason that has prompted local authorities to introduce incentive schemes to woo foreign investors to the export sector while also assisting the existing local businesses to expand their operations through value additions and diversification. With the ongoing expansion of Sri Lanka’s exports sector, foreign businesses/investors could explore the increasing opportunities in the sector. They could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses engaged in the exports sector in order to expand operations locally as well as internationally.
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