Moves under way to attract foreign investment for
Foreigners eager to invest here - Minister
Information and Media and Enterprise Development and Investment
Promotion Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told Parliament yesterday
that the Government has prepared blueprints to attract massive foreign
investment to develop the Northern and Eastern provinces under the
Uthuru Vasanthaya and Negenahira Udanaya programs.
Foreign investors have shown a keen interest to invest in Sri Lanka
due to moves taken by the Government to defeat terrorism and achieve
lasting peace, he said.
The Minister speaking at the Debate on the Board of Investment of Sri
Lanka (Amendment) Bill, said the Government through the BoI has made
arrangements to create more investment opportunities to the foreign
investors who are willing to invest here.
"The Government has also provided an opportunity to invest in the
country's education sector as well," Minister Yapa said.
During the past few years, a large number of foreign investors have
come to Sri Lanka from countries such as China, India, Pakistan and
Turkey. In addition, the BoI sent its investment promotion officers to
various foreign countries to canvass foreign investment. "We are fully
confident that massive development will take place in relation to
country's investment sector very soon".
According to the Minister, the BoI has been able to generate 8,170
new employment opportunities last year. In addition, 7,836 employment
opportunities have been created during 2007 while 7,921 employment
opportunities have been generated in 2006. The BoI has also able to
create 7,780 new employment opportunities in 2005.
There are 143 projects (2005), 115 projects (2006), 108 projects
(2007) and 114 projects (2008) in relation to food and beverages,
apparel, wood craft, petroleum, chemical, agriculture and other service
These new projects have been established in Anuradhapura, Badulla,
Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Hambantota, Puttalam, Galle and Colombo
districts, he said. At present, 117,817 employees are working in 268 BoI
approved factories established in export processing zones country wide.
The Ministry through the BoI has made arrangements to safeguard the
rights of employees who work in these BoI approved factories, the
Minister Yapa said the BoI through the establishment of new factories
has been able to create a large number of employment opportunities and
develop many areas by bringing new technology to those respective areas.
The BoI granted a series of tax concessions to various industries and
other service sectors to encourage the investors. Special exchange rate
concessions have been given to companies which export less than 80
percent of their products, he said.
"In a situation where the entire world faced an economic recession,
immediate measures were taken by the BoI to provide relief to
industrialists on the directive of the President. A high profile
committee was appointed to look into investor problems. Initiatives were
also taken to sort out the problems in the apparel sector. The BoI is
always ready to assist investors to overcome their problems," the
Steps have also been taken to sort out the problems faced by the
investors in relation to their exports at international level. The BoI
has also introduced special relief programs for the benefit of
industrialists who have faced economic hardships.
They have been given a six month grace period to pay the interest on
their loans. In addition, the Government has given a huge relief package
to industrialists, he said.
The BoI has decided to give approval to the investors without delay.
As a policy, the Government is very keen to encourage investors and
provide them all facilities.
After establishment of the BoI, Sri Lanka has able to attract massive
Therefore, the BoI has played a leading role to develop the country's
production and the technology sectors, the Minister added.