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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

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All obstacles will be removed:

'SL targets US$ 2 b investment this year'

Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told the Daily News that Sri Lanka targets over US$ 2 billion in foreign investments, this year. "The country was successful in bringing in investments worth US$ 1.2 billion last year. During the next six months the ministry will launch many plans to get more investments to reach the country", he said.

Further he said that plans will be made to remove all obstacles in achieving the goals during the next two months.

The ministry will focus on four sectors in this regard. Tourism, education, industrial development and the service sector have been listed this year to attract foreign investors.

The minister noted that investments in the education sector had not been tapped so far. Around 12,000 students go abroad annually for education draining over US$ 400 million from the country a year. The minister said that measures will be taken to attract foreign investment in the sector to establish foreign universities and educational institutes in the country to prevent brain drain and the foreign exchange outflow.

He explained that education is a vast sector in which foreign investment can be obtained. Countries like the UK reject 95 percent visas of Pakistanis and Indians applying for visas for educational matters.

Sri Lanka has the opportunity to attract these bodies to the country. He also pointed out that established educational institutes will attract foreign students in the region to the country. He stated that Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha will handle the sector of promotion in Middle East, while two other promotional programmes will be launched targetting European countries.

Tourism is another major field to attract investors towards the country. Many programmes will be launched centering the Kalpitiya area to develop tourism in year 2013.

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