Focussing on National Development Agenda:
New BOI investment promotion strategy
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) Deputy Director General A.
M. C. Kulasekera, addressed the Discover Sri Lanka Conference 2010 held
recently, where over 25 fund managers of international repute
participated. Kulasekera's address covered the role of the BOI in Sri
Lanka's economy and gave prominence to the country's resilience during
the three decades of conflict. Sri Lanka had achieved a total of US$ 5.8
billion in 30 years in spite of the ongoing conflict and indeed could
have achieved five times that quantum of investment had there been peace
in the country.
Discover Sri Lanka Conference
Sri Lanka had also weathered the current global economic downturn
unlike most countries that experienced FDI downturns of 40-60 percent.
Sri Lanka's performance had been comparatively good, having seen a
slight decline in FDI from US$ 889 million in 2008 to US$ 602 million in
The main challenge that lay ahead was to harness future FDI to meet
some of the National Development Goals of the Government. Currently the
bulk of Sri Lanka's investment went into infrastructure, port
development, power generation, telecommunications, manufacturing,
services including the IT and BPO sectors and tourism.
But in the future the Government was looking at promoting investments
in key areas which would impact favourably on the community at large
such as investments in Agriculture (including agro industries, dairies
and livestock development), Tourism, IT/ BPO, Education and
Infrastructure (including township development). An additional sector
earmarked for development was port related activities in view of the
current expansion and development of the Colombo and Hambantota ports.
Kulasekera said, to reach an 8 percent economic growth, Sri Lanka
will need to achieve a level of FDI inflows of 4 percent of the GDP
(current FDI amounts to 2 percent of Sri Lanka's GDP).
This signifies a doubling of FDI, and the task of the BOI was to
achieve an improved facilitation regime in partnership with other
relevant agencies of the Government, notably in the port and thrust
areas. "This new facilitation regime which will involve a co-ordinated
approach on the part of all stakeholder agencies, will help Sri Lanka
achieve her National Development Goals through the successful attraction
of investment," Kulasekera said.