- Apparel, fruit processing, animal feed, pharmaceutical manufacturers have begun setting up operations
- Govt. allocates Rs. 150 m to complete infrastructure development in new EPZ within next 6 months
By Charumini de Silva
Sri Lanka’s latest and largest Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Bingiriya has attracted $ 45 million worth investments for five ventures. They are two apparel factories with an investment of $ 12.9 million, a fruit processing factory ($ 1.4 million), an animal feed factory ($ 14.29 million) and a pharmaceutical factory ($ 16 million).
“Bingiriya zone will serve as a catalyst to economic transformation, development and modernisation. We have been able to attract $ 44.59 million worth investments for the zone, where some of the factories have commenced constructing their manufacturing plants,” State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones Development D.V. Chanaka told the Daily FT.
He said the Government has allocated Rs. 150 million through the Vote on Account (VoA) to complete the infrastructure work within the next six months which includes; road development, water supply, drainage and electricity will be completed in the Bingiriya zone.
The State Minister believes the EPZ will emerge as an instrument to effectively harness economic growth through industrial promotion and bring about much needed economic transformation.
“The products manufactured in the zone are targeted for Sri Lanka’s export markets and will be of the highest quality and contribute immensely towards strengthening the national economy. The zone will also be a significant generator of employment, as it will create manufacturing potential, transfer technology, which will boost the country’s position on the development ladder,” he added.
He also said that they will look into resolving bottlenecks that may delay any future operation of these companies. “We expect to introduce investor-friendly policies to attract fresh FDIs for the zones to bolster international trade,” the State Minister said.
Bingiriya EPZ was initiated after 15 long years and its development will be in three phases.
The first phase of the process will see the development of a 164-acre area, the second phase an additional 282 acres and in the third and final phase the estimated total land extent will be 1,200 acres. The completion of the project expects to generate a total of 75,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities. Bingiriya EPZ development is expected to be completed within an eight to 12 year timeframe.
It is believed that the completed EPZ will radically transform the national economy by introducing heavy and light engineering industries, IT and IT-based industries, automobile parts manufacturing and the assembly of vehicles, logistics services, apparel and food processing.
Sri Lanka currently has 12 EPZs in four provinces.