Employment for 20,000 targeting four Economic Zones
EMPLOYMENT: The government will set up four new Economic Zones next
year generating over 20,000 employment opportunities in each said the
Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, Rohitha
In an interview with the 'Daily News' he said that they have
identified nearly 750 acres each in Matara, Hambantota, Chilaw and
Mihintale areas for this project.
He said that there is regional disparity in Sri Lanka with over 50
per cent of GDP in the Western Province. "The move to set up Economic
zones will iron out this problem too," the Minister said.
Bogollagama said that the present Economic Zones were set up over
decade ago and new zones are needed to attract both local and foreign
He said that the Government would provide infrastructure for these
zones with electricity, water, roads, telephone, and township facilities
and also link them to rail tracks and the government hopes that each
zone will bring in investments to a tune of over US $ 500 m.
The construction of coal power plants in Norochchole, Trincomalee,
LPG gas plants and the Kotmale project would meet the demand for
electricity in the future.
He said that he has given a target to find 60,000 employment
opportunities annually to the Board of Investments.
"They are in the process of meeting this target as they have already
generated 23,000 jobs in the first quarter," he said.
Similarly the BoI has been given a target to raise one billion US
dollars investment this year, which would be a historic mark
over-running the US $ 235, raised last year.
He said that he has also attended an investment round table
conference in Singapore which was very fruitful. "We focussed mainly on
infrastructure development for dredging of oil and was very successful
with some investors already visiting Sri Lanka," he said.
In addition Pepsi bottler in India, Ravi Jayapur also met the
Minister in Colombo with regard to the building the proposed tallest
building in Colombo 3, reaching 47 floors.
"This would be a US $ 12 million investment and construction would
start in four months," he said. Airing his views on the budget he said
that it would be a production-oriented budget with capital market
development. "It would also promote investments," he said.
Asked if the lifting of the ban to take trade union action would have
a negative impact he answered in the negative. "This was done as
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was a human rights promoter and the
Government believes that the trade unions will act in a responsible
manner," he said.