Govt. aims $1.6B FDI next year, $2B in 2019

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By 2017-10-19

By Nishel Fernando

The Minister of Law & Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka recently announced that the Board of Investment (BOI) targets US$ 1.6 billion in 2018 and over US$ 2 billion in 2019 in Foreign Direct Investment, excluding investments to Hambantota.
Addressing the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Sri Lanka Retailers Association (SLRA) held recently, Ratnayaka said that the groundbreaking ceremony of the Hambanotota industrial zone will take place on 4 November, with its operations to commence soon. He added that the Government is also developing industrial zones in Bingiriya, Mathugama and Weligama in joint ventures with India. In addition, he noted that the Government will also develop two new tourist zones in the country.

Speaking of the Hambantota Port, he said, "With the joint venture between the Government and China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort), there will be further investments on the port. The joint venture will invest US$ 600 million in required equipment over the next year." The Hambantota Port is expected to be operational by 2019 latest.

Commenting on the progress of the Colombo Port City project, he said that reclamation of Port City land would be complete by 2019, with the first investment on reclaimed land worth US$ 1 billion during mid next year.

He asserted, "There will be no doubt that Port City will become the best piece of real-estate in the South Asian region." He noted that the Government will develop infrastructure around the Port City in support of the project, which is expected to draw continuous investment over the next 10 years.

Ratnayaka added that the BOI has undergone some revamping, strengthening into a proactive entity. He expressed his confidence that Sri Lanka will attract over US$ 1 billion worth of FDI this year. Sri Lanka has attracted US$ 711.2 million in FDI during the first 6 months of the year 2017, indicating a 142% growth compared to the first six months of last year.

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