- Says agreements worth $ 1.5 b signed in the first nine months; 2020 target is $ 2-2.5 b
The Board of Investment (BOI) says agreements to the value of $ 1.5 billion have been approved in the first nine months of this year from the 2020 targeted figure of $ 2-2.5 billion.
|BOI Director General Sanjaya Mohottala
BOI Director General Sanjaya Mohottala said of the value approved include new investments and expansions of the ongoing projects.
He said with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has severely dented the world economy, the achievement of $ 1.5 billion in new investments was noteworthy.
“It’s impressive to see the local Investors expanding their ventures in Sri Lanka. While the advanced economies are shrinking their activities, local investors grabbed the opportunities arisen in the present world market. The confidence of the existing investors in expanding their projects, strengthened the rupee value of the country,” Mohottala added.
According to him the foreign investments are expected to grow significantly within the next two years and the basic requirements are already being worked out. A formal mechanism is being set up to initiate new investments as well.
He emphasised that there are influential factors to attract FDI to any country. This includes a stable Government, stable polices, a proper legal framework, and free trade agreements. A stable and an emphatic Government has already been established and other sectors need to be updated to suit the present. This will enable the expected amount of FDI to the country.
“We are exploring the extensive global trade needs and the markets available to expand our production,” Mohottala added.
“We also focus on the Sri Lankan work force and the areas where projects can be implemented. The Eravur fabric park is one of our significant initiative which will bring a huge foreign exchange saving to the country,” he said. BOI expects to establish a rubber-based manufacturing zone outside Colombo and Gampaha districts. Fisheries and aquatic resources projects are too in BOI’s roadmap and Mohottala said the focus is to implement these projects are in North, East and Northwest coasts.
“We intend to establish IT parks in Colombo, Gampaha, Kandy, Hambantota, Vavuniya and Jaffna districts with in the next five years,” BOI DG said, adding: “Young professionals from these areas who are qualified in IT field will be fortunate enough to work in these ventures.”
The main role of the BOI is to uplift the economy of the country, while attracting foreign direct investments. In addition, the BOI stands for the economic and social development of the employees who contribute immensely to the growth of the economy. “Apart from these, we will take steps to integrate the people who live in undeveloped areas in to the economy,” Mohottala added.