Existing Investors Trust Sri Lanka, BOI Says | Print edition
By Sunimale Dias
The Board of Investment (BOI) said that despite the current economic problems and current emergency laws, existing investors have confidence in Sri Lanka and continue to reinvest as has been evident over the past year and until present this year.
Most of the investment last year took the form of reinvestment, as investors are more familiar with the positive developments in the country, Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala said in an interview with the Business Times in response to a question about investor reaction to the emergency laws currently being implemented in the country.
Investment approvals granted in 2020 totaled US $ 2.3 billion. Capital formation or investments amounted to $ 1.4 billion, of which 50 percent was FDI and 50 percent local investment, according to BOI statistics.
In addition, in 2021 1H, there was a total of $ 770 million of investment, of which $ 400 million came from FDI. The BOI also reports that large-scale negotiations worth $ 1.7 billion are underway and projects worth $ 600 million have been approved and projects worth $ 1 , 5 to 2 billion dollars are in preparation.
He also underlined that despite the current concerns about GSP + raised in the European Parliament, “we must” continue to grow by moving forward not through the current quota system, but by engaging in bilateral agreements.
The BOI is committed to conducting proactive campaigns to keep the public and investors informed about Sri Lanka and its offers, he explained.
In 2020, despite COVID-19 and around four months of closure, the country was able to approve projects worth $ 2.3 billion while some are in the works.
While the Central Bank is engaged in resolving the debt crisis, it has worked with the Treasury and the BOI to ensure that they are able to overcome macroeconomic challenges with the aim of securing increased investment. in the country.
The state wants to attract increased investment in segments of the rubber industry, ICT, clothing, pharmaceuticals and tourism, the president said.
The government is also planning to strengthen the tourism sector by increasing the carrying capacity to around 30,000. In the agricultural sector, plans are underway to attract investment in food processing, Mohottala said.
BOI is also actively seeking investments with embassies as part of a program in countries such as Korea, China, India, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, United States and United Kingdom.
This year, BOI hopes to achieve a target of $ 1 billion in FDI having accumulated investments amounting to $ 400 million in FDI and $ 760 million in capital formation in the first six months, a- he declared.
By pushing towards more manufacturing, they will target investments in the rubber sector favoring the manufacture of tires and gloves.
He noted that this should also benefit the ecosystem and ensure that with the investments made last year, rubber production can double from the existing 70,000 to 80,000 tonnes of rubber production.
The Port of Hambantota attracted one of the major tire factories with a $ 300 million investment, a $ 150 million yacht building plant and the creation of a special zone by a logistics service provider for the manufacture or assembly of electronic components.