BOI approves projects worth US$ 1.5B
By Mario Andree
The self-proclaimed one-stop-shop, the Board of Investment (BOI) has signed agreements worth US$ 1.5 billion during the first eight months of this year and is hoping to end the year with US$ 2.5 billion, despite the challenging economic conditions following the global COVID-19 pandemic.
BOI Director General Sanjaya Mohottala recently said that the COVID-19 pandemic had inflicted severe damage to the Sri Lankan economy disrupting all the economic activities.
Despite the challenges, the BOI is gearing to attract an increased inflow of foreign direct investment into the country, he said.
“We have approved projects worth US$ 1.5 billion so far, including new investments and expansions of the ongoing projects.
According to him local investors are expanding their ventures at an impressive rate despite global economic activities coming almost to a standstill.
“While the advanced economies are shrinking their activities, local investors grabbed the opportunities that have arisen in the present world market,” he said.
The BOI is currently working on a formal mechanism to initiate new investments, which Mohottala is confident would help increase foreign investments into the country during the next two years.
“There are influential factors to attract FDI to any country. This includes a stable government, stable polices, a proper legal frame work, and free trade agreements,” he said.
Further, he added that the BOI would focus on the local labour market to implement projects, such as the Eravur Fabric Park, which would help the country increase foreign exchange earnings.
He highlighted that a rubber-based manufacturing zone, outside the Colombo and Gampaha districts and a fisheries and aquatic resource project would be implemented in the North, East and Northwest coasts.
The BOI is also working on establishing IT parks in Colombo, Gampaha, Kandy, Hambantota, Vavuniya and Jaffna districts, which would help youngsters in these areas to work in their own hometowns.
He concluded saying that the BOI would take steps to integrate the people who live in undeveloped areas in to the economy.