The government has proposed to establish the necessary infrastructure to create a MICE Triangle consisting of the BMICH, Nelum Pokuna Theatre and the New Town Hall. This is in order to encourage ‘Meetings Incentives Conferencing and Exhibitions’ or “MICE” and attract tourism revenues.
According to plans set out in the 2016 Budget proposals, a convention hall with state of the art facilities will be built adjacent to the Town hall. The proposed facility will have a seating capacity of at least 7,000 and will be built in collaboration with the private sector.
“As such to encourage such investments, I propose to grant a 50 per cent tax holiday for 5 years for companies incorporated specifically to engage in “MICE” activities. I also propose to allocate Rs.3,000 million for this purpose,” Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.
He further proposed to revise import taxes on garments, shoes, electronic and electrical items and other accessories to encourage spending by the tourists and to evolve into the shopping paradise of the region.
“We will establish a “Colombo International Financial Centre”. A specific zone will be built on the lines of the Dubai International Financial Centre and such other off-shore centres around the world. The zone will cover a demarcated area in D R Wijewardena Mawatha, where a 300,000 square feet facility will be constructed,” Minister Karunanayake said.
The proposed financial center will have an own commercial court for resolution of commercial disputes in a quick and equitable manner keeping in line with the financial centre regulatory requirements.