Some State officials discourage investors – BoI Chief

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By 2017-03-21

By Mario Andree

At a time when Sri Lanka was attempting to improve foreign direct investments to the country, a senior official said that some State officials were discouraging potential investors who show keen interest in the country.

Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Upul Jayauriya recently revealed that the BOI received an investment proposal for a sugar refinery and farming project in Vavuniya, which was discouraged by some State officials.

He said that these State officials opined that the project was not viable for an area such as Vavuniya, which had little rain fall.

However, Jayasuriya said that State officials should not have done so, highlighting that an investor would submit such a proposal only after a proper research which promised higher returns.

While highlighting that many State officials were highly educated and had a good insight, he said that an investor's business decision would be made on potential profits.

Sri Lanka is attempting to become self sufficient in sugar, and encouraged investors for the sector. The government has signed an agreement with an investor for the Kanthale Sugar refinery; however the property is yet to be handed over for operations.

With economic development targeted at 6 per cent for this year, Sri Lanka needs to increase foreign direct investments considerably.

During the first nine months of last year FDIs to the country declined 34.4 per cent to US$ 444.5 million from US$ 677.6 million in 2015.

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