$ 430 m in FDI so far; $ 2 b target still on: Yapa

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The country can anticipate a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of US$ 2 billion by the end of the year, Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday. With the first six months of the year, having brought in US$ 430 million worth of FDI (excluding the John Keels and Lake Leisure investments), the country is likely to touch on US$ 2 billion, he said, a marked improvement from the US$ 1.2 billion FDI fetched in 2012. Noting that the private sector must work alongside the Government to bring in the expected numbers, Abeywardena acknowledged that the country needs to reach the 8% growth mark soon, in order to compete alongside the likes of Vietnam, China and Malaysia. For this to become a possibility, FDI must equal 35% of the country’s GDP, he said. Of the needed 35%, the local investments could cover a maximum of only 8-9% and the rest must come from abroad. “However, if we get US$ 2 billion by the end of the year, it would be only 4% of the GDP,” Abeywardena said. Board of Investment Chairman Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera noted that the collected US$ 430 million has come from strategic development projects. Country wise the investments mainly coming from China and Hong Kong, Jayaweera said, while project wise the investments came from a number of tourism sector projects, manufacturing projects, and mixed development projects. More tourism and mixed development projects along with heavy industry zones, telecommunication, ICT and thermal power that will help achieve the US$ 2 billion are expected in the third and fourth quarter of the year.