News Update :

BOI inked US$ 3. 4 bn deals in ‘12

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Shirajiv Sirimane
The Board of Investment signed agreements to the tune of over US $ 3.4 billion worth foreign direct investments in 2012, which was an all time record.

The new Minister of Economic Development, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, said that in the previous year, a sum of over US $ 1.2 billion worth BOI projects had been implemented. The main areas that attracted investments were services and industry, followed by Agriculture.

He said that this year their target was to surpass the US$ 2 billion figure and he was confident of achieving this task.

Since the creating of the BOI in 1978, it had yielded US$ 1,026 million FDI’s until 1994 and the 1995 to 2005 period saw Sri Lanka attracting US$ 1,752 million.

The 2005 to 2012 period saw Sri Lanka receiving US$ 5,026 million investments, surpassing all other previous investment figures.

The minister said that the government on their part, had cleared all road blocks and have provided the much needed infrastructure to woo investors.

He said that while appointing a committee from the private sector to advice on investment issues, he would have monthly meetings with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in a bid to speedup clearing of red tape.

He said that this year they would focus on the BPO and KPO sectors and another key area would be on Education.
 The two new Ministers, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane and Frazier Mustapha after taking office yesterday. Picture by Ranjith Askanka

“Every year, over 12,000 students travel overseas for education, spending over US$ 400 million. We are encouraging foreign universities to set up universities in Sri Lanka.”

He said that there was also tremendous opportunities to attract over 10, 000 Pakistani students going for overseas education annually.

Already one of the leading British universities, Lancashire and Singapore’s number one University, Raffles would be setting up universities in Mirigama and Negombo.

It was also disclosed that the agreement for the Four Season hotels would be signed next week, while leading department stores in the world based in Singapore, Mustafa will open a hotel cum shopping complex this year.

The minister also said that he was lucky to have Frazier Mustapha (PC) as his deputy, who would not only help to iron out legal issues, but would also help promote investments from the Gulf. The new Secretary to the Minister of Investments, M. M. C. Ferdinado, said that the main aim of creating the BOI in the early stages, was to create employment. “However, today the main aim was to attract investments and also help increase exports,” he said.

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