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Govt nod for multi-dollar export bound cannabis industry

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BOI receives several positive responses from investors
State Minister Dilum Amunugama and officials at the press conference in Colombo
State Minister Dilum Amunugama and officials at the press conference in Colombo

Opening up a new multi-million-dollar yield export avenue to Sri Lanka, the government has finally decided to accept the export of cannabis in a very professional and scientific manner and with value addition.

State Minister for Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama said that as the first step a special investment promotion zone would be established to grow Cannabis in a much organised manner.

“The BOI also received several positive responses from investors, especially from Europe, to go ahead with this project. The investors will have to make a commitment that they will manufacture a product which is export bound.”

Sri Lanka has also appointed a committee to look into growing cannabis for export, and the report has been completed.

“The proposal to legalize the exports of cannabis will now be submitted to Cabinet for final approval.”

The proposal was first made by State Minister for Tourism Diana Gamage and she was highly criticized by the opposition including the JVP and pressure groups. Sri Lanka will not be the first country to export cannabis as many countries including China and some European countries do export cannabis on a major scale yielding millions of dollars in revenue to those countries.

Some of these countries are China ($13,044.98K, 1,250,760 Kg), Italy ($1,228.97K, 66,571 Kg), European Union ($835.46K, 38,135 Kg), Romania ($315.88K, 12,073 Kg) and Netherlands ($277.38K, 29,380 Kg). The fact that the BOI coming forward to follow up on this proposal itself gives victory to Minister Diana Gamage over protests made against this high forex yielding initiative, critics say.


BOI to add more EPZs in North and East

The board of investments will be adding more zones especially in the North and East, State Minister of investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama said.

These proposed zones will be set up in Kappalthurai in Trincomalee District, Paranthan Chemicals Corporation facility in Kilinochchi District, Kankesanthurai Cement Corporation Premises in Jaffna District Mankulam in Mulathive District, Iranwilla, and in Bingiriya Phase 2. The Minister said that despite global negative sentiments the performance of the BOI was praise worthy achieving a 38% increased FDI receivable.

The world economic outlook between 2021 – 2022 was not ideal and it has been badly impacted due to the Ukraine-Russia war, US, and UK inflation historically 40-45%.

In the context of the Internal macroeconomic situation, our country’s rating, the default of paying debtors, and political uncertainty send a less investor-friendly signal to the outside world.

“Despite BOI registering a 38% increase in FDI 2022 (In 2021 U$ 780 Mn vs. 2022 U$1076 Mn / U$1 Bn), sector-wise FDI flows, recorded a better performance recording a growth in manufacturing by 78%, telecommunication by 57%, and port development by 329%

Monday, May 29, 2023 – 01:00

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