Sri Lanka’s National Human Resources Development Council proposes one stop shop to attract foreign direct investments
Sri Lanka’s National Human Resources Development Council has reportedly proposed the setting up of a single-window or one stop shop to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) to set up private universities and training institutions in the country.
“Sri Lanka needs foreign investments coming into the country’s higher education system in order to broaden accessibility and also turnout graduates who have relevant skills needed to lift the economy to the next level,” Chandra Embuldeniya, a member of the Council and former Vice Chancellor at the Uva Wellassa University has been quoted as saying in the media.
“But there are many thorny points in the various approvals and regulatory processes that hurt investors trying to invest in education.
“There is something not right in the way we attract investments into this country. If we can fix this, we will get all the investments we need.
“This will also help us attract investments from reputed foreign universities to set up campuses here,” he has said.
According to a survey of 30 private higher education institutions carried out by Embuldeniya, many of them complain about the difficulties in dealing with multiple government agencies for various approvals, reports state.
According to reports, private education and training institutions have to deal with several government agencies for approvals and other regulatory matters such as the Registrar of Companies, Higher Education Ministry, the Tertiary, Vocational Education and Board of Investment.
Private investors will also have to register with the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council of Sri Lanka in the future, whereas earlier they needed to be registered with the University Grants Commission, he has said.
“We are proposing that the government set up a single-window to save investors the hassle. We need to invest in technology so that these government agencies can also share relevant information amongst themselves to avoid duplication,” Embuldeniya has said.
“All investors need to do is submit an application, and the single window should take care of the all the approvals and guide investors about the necessary regulatory requirements that they will have to fulfill.”
The proposal is one of 12 proposals submitted by the National Human Resources Development Council to the government to be incorporated in the 2019 Budget.
The proposed one stop shop to attract FDIs to set up private universities and education institutions in the country would increase the investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s education sector. The Sri Lankan government is looking at developing the country’s higher education sector. Hence, there are opportunities opening up in the sector.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/06082018/Z_1|