The Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI), Upul Jayasuriya says the government is very keen to fast-track investment approvals in Sri Lanka and hence the island’s new Constitution currently being drafted will also address the requirements of the investor community.

Addressing a delegation consisting of 26 foreign diplomats from 20 countries who are currently undergoing training at the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI), Jayasuriya described the important role of the organization in opening up Sri Lanka’s economy to international trade and investment.

“The BOI enjoys many powers in the area of immigration control, inland revenue, exchange control and customs to facilitate the international investor community.  Sri Lanka would have achieved considerable benefits had it not been for the conflict which erupted in 1983,” Jayasuriya said.

The Chairman noted that currently the BOI is looking at implementing new improvements to fast-track investment so that the investor can focus on his or her business rather than spending time in obtaining approvals.  He added that a new Constitution is being drafted in Sri Lanka and this would address the requirements of the investor community.

Currently nearly 2000 enterprises operate under the regime of the BOI of which only about 300 are actually located at the Export Processing Zones.

The group of diplomats, led by Ms Pamela Deen Director General of the BIDTI were from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam and also Sri Lanka.

The BOI also arranged for the diplomats to visit the Katunayake Export Processing Zone where they were briefed on Zone Management by Ms. Himali Urugodawatte, Director / Industrial Relations – KEPZ.