Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia to ink MoU to boost direct investments

Friday, 21 June 2024 03:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at attracting direct investment and enhancing the investment environment in both countries. 

The agreement seeks to promote policy and legal reforms, provide advanced and integrated infrastructure facilities and streamline processes to foster a more investor-friendly climate.

“Both sides reached an agreement during the special meeting of the World Economic Forum, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabry in April,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday.

Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet meeting media briefing he disclosed that the agreement was reached when the Minister attended the World Economic Forum in Riyadh from 28-29 April.

“The agreement is part of a broader strategy to increase foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka by improving the overall investment landscape. This includes implementing key policy and legal reforms, upgrading infrastructure and redesigning processes to make investment more attractive and efficient,” he added.

The MoU is expected to open new avenues for economic collaboration between Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia, benefiting both nations by creating a more conducive environment for business and investment. 

Gunawardena explained that Sri Lanka lags behind regional countries in attracting foreign direct investments. “In 2023, Singapore attracted FDIs worth of $ 140 billion, India $ 70 billion, Vietnam $ 28 billion and Thailand $ 20 billion, while Sri Lanka only attracted $ 1 billion,” he said.

“This initiative aligns with Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to stabilise and grow its economy by leveraging international partnerships and attracting foreign capital. With this MoU in place, both countries look forward to a strengthened economic relationship and the mutual benefits that come from increased direct investment and improved investment conditions,” he added.

The report regarding the MoU presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.