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BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya (right) inks agreement with President of Senok Automobiles Noel Selvanayagam at a press conference held in August (Pic by Chandana Wijesinghe)

Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment today claimed that it had succeeded in attracting a number of important projects in key sectors of investment.

“Once these investments are realized a total of 66 new projects and 45 expansions of existing projects will be operational, resulting in an estimated US$ 1.6 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow and generating an estimated 16,075 new employment opportunities,” the investment promotion agency said in a statement.

Highlighting a number of projects signed this year, the BOI said it had thus laid the foundation for a higher quantum of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the years to come.

The full statement released by the BOI follows;

Improved facilitation by BOI in 2015 yields high value projects

As a result of the introduction of new procedures aimed at improving facilitation, the BOI succeeded in attracting a number of important projects in key sectors of investment.

Once these investments are realized a total of 66 new projects and 45 expansions of existing projects will be operational, resulting in an estimated US$ 1.6 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow and generating an estimated 16,075 new employment opportunities.

These projects reflect growing investor confidence in Sri Lanka under the present management of the BOI which has introduced new methods to fast track investment including a “One Stop Shop”.

Among the agreements signed in 2015 are a number of projects which will impact significantly on Sri Lanka’s economy.

BOI signed three agreements with Dialog AxiataPLC, Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd and Dialog Television (Pvt) Ltd for a total investment of US$ 175 Million (Rs 24.6 Million). This new investment brings the total investment by Dialog Axiata to US$ 1.96. The investment by this company revolutionized Sri Lanka’s telecommunication and Television network sector.

Another very significant agreement signed by the BOI in 2015 was with M/s Senok Automobile (Pvt) Ltd, to assemble Volkswagen automobiles in Sri Lanka. This investment which is worth US$ 26.5 million brings Sri Lanka into the age of automobile manufacturing. Volkswagen is currently the world’s second largest car manufacturer and has opted to set up a base in Sri Lanka. Generally automobile assembly is the first step towardsthe establishment of a fully-fledged automobile manufacturing capability.

Another very significant project signed in 2015 was the revival of Kantale Sugar as a result of an agreement signed with M G Sugar Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. This is a 30 year project agreement run on Built, Operated and Transfer (BOT) basis between the Government of Sri Lanka (51% shareholding) and the foreign investor (49% shareholding). This investment is from Singapore and will result in creating 1,220 new job opportunities. The estimated value of the investment is US$ 100 million

Other very significant projects entered into in 2015 include Airport Express Air& Rail Co (Pvt) Ltd which will result in the building of an urban township development project that will link Colombo to Katunayake. This is a full foreign investment with participation from Malaysia, Portugal and Denmark.

As the inflow of tourists to Sri Lanka grows, there will also be a corresponding growth in investment in the tourism & leisure sector. One such project is the joint venture between Sri Lankan and Chinese companies to build a 176 roomed tourist hotel in Panadura. The estimated value of the project is US$ 20 million. JieZhoneJie Lanka Developing Construction Engineering (Pvt) Ltd signed an agreement with BOI regarding this project. There are several other agreements relating to tourism & leisure sector that have been signed during 2015.

BOI has also signed an agreement with enterprises in sectors such as Hub operation activities to undertake offshore business and entrepot trading which one of the new investment segments that Sri Lanka is actively promoting.

Furthermore Laugfs Pharmaceutical (Pvt) Ltd which is a local company has signed an agreement with BOI to manufacture pharmaceuticals. The estimated value of the project is US$30.5 million. This sector is of strategic importance to the country as most pharmaceuticals are currently imported.

A very high profile project in the future will be the high rise mixed development construction project byShreepatis Edifice. The estimated value of this project is US$ 330 Million.

Another important project is Orion Towers Ltd that will lead to the construction of mixed development project in Colombo. The estimated value is US$42.7 million.

Greener Water Ltd has entered into an agreement with BOI to build a 5 star hotel with 380 rooms at Negombo. The estimated value of the investment is US$ 60 million.

Hence in 2015 the BOI laid the foundation for a higher quantum of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the years to come. This was achieved by the identification and implementation by the BOI’s managementof ways by the improvement of service quality towards the investor with the objective of making Sri Lanka a highly competitive business friendly destination.