Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Sri Lanka has grown to over 1.63 billion US dollars in 2017, doubling the 802 million dollars achieved in the previous year.
The Board of Investment (BOI) reported that 1.63 billion dollars achieved in 2017 is the highest ever surpassing the 1.61 billion dollars in 2014, with significant growth across key sectors.
“The strong growth is a direct consequence of the Government’s reorientation of economic policy towards investment and export driven growth, rather than debt-funded public infrastructure spending,” the BOI said.
Among the highest growth sectors were export-oriented Manufacturing (+27%), Services which includes Tourism and IT (+50%) and Infrastructure (+190%). The highest FDI came from China, followed by Hong Kong, India and Singapore.
The BOI, under the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, is the first point of contact for foreign investors into the country.
“The BOI has initiated work on developing several new export promotion zones including Milleniya, Bingiriya, Weligama and Mawathagama. These will be the first comprehensive BOI zones to be developed since 2000.”
In order to facilitate FDI, the new Inland Revenue Act provides accelerated investment allowances over and above normal depreciation until companies recover their total fixed investment.
The foreign exchange regime too has been liberalized to improve the investment climate via the new Foreign Exchange Act.
Prime Minister earlier said the country’s target is to achieve 5 billion US dollars in FDI by 2020 while International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said he is confident of achieving 2.5 billion US dollars of FDI this year.
-Lanka Business Online (LBO)