BOI secures over USD 700 mn FDI in 1H 2021
He said that the anticipated USD 1.5 billion capital formation for 2021 comes at a time when there is a 35% dip in the ‘world investment pool for FDI’ for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns and this was a commendable achievement.
“The main key trust sectors where there was investor appetite for FDI were in leisure, food processing, apparels, textile, IT/BPO, Mineral related FDI and for projects related to infrastructure.”
In addition USD 35 million and USD 150 million are on the cards from two investors for the fabric park in Eravul which is the first of the two new BOI Zones that are being created. “There is also tremendous investor interest for the second Pharma Zone in Hambantota.”
“BOI has also launched a fist of its kind initiative to match local companies and introduce them with foreign investors who are looking for partners. In addition we are also conducting a series of webinars and investment promotions involving Sri Lanka foreign missions abroad to woo investors. He said that the BOI would invest around RS. 1.5 billion to provide and improve infrastructure in the other existing zones by refurbishing and building new waste water plants, upgrading roads and adding other key elements. “We want to keep these BOI zones packed with all necessary infrastructure to offer to investors as and when they need. “We also request present occupants in them to reduce their carbon footprint and encourage them to install solar as well.”
Asked to comment on the Colombo Port City and its impacts to FDI and economy he said that it has increased the country profile to a great extent as it’s creating one of the best livable cities in Asia.
“It will also create high profile employment and it’s now time for the educationist to do more reforms to create a knowledge based talent pool towards future employment that would be generated not only from Port City but by other companies as well.
Sri Lanka still needs to create a more investment friendly climate similar to Dubai and Singapore to woo more investors.
“We also observe that some investors are still awaiting for the budget proposal before making commitments. Improving the Ease of Doing Business Index with legal and tax reforms and digitization of documentation processes at the customs which would help boost investor confidence are some areas we are successfully working on.”
Commenting on the vaccination drive for zonal employees he said it was very successful not only in Western Province but in other zones as well and Sri Lanka is far ahead in this aspect in comparison to other countries in the region.