ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal to initiate the establishment of a proposed Economic Commission designed to replace and merge the Board of Investment (BoI) and the Export Development Board (EDB).
A statement from the Government Information Department said on Tuesday November 07 that the cabinet had approved the proposal by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to follow up on recommendations made by a committee appointed in January 2023 in this regard.
Wickremesinghe also serves as Minister of Finance.
The establishment of a new agency consolidating the BoI and the EDB was approved by the cabinet in January to “create a more favourable environment for investment and export promotion”
A Supervisory Committee on Export and Imports comprising “individuals with expertise in the relevant fields” to appointed that month to serve under the Presidential Secretariat.
Tuesday’s statement said the committee had “studied all facts pertaining to this scenario and has furnished resolutions for the establishment of a new institutional structure” and the establishment of the Sri Lanka Economic Commission and related units.
Sri Lanka is also drawing up a new law for Colombo Financial Zone at the Chinese-built Port City in addition to the proposed Economic Commission.
The island nation has long wanted to position itself as a central player in the region providing services including legal and dispute resolution. Several new laws in this regard have been on the cards.
“One is the new legislation which will replace the port city to make it a Colombo financial zone with jurisdiction for offshore activity,” President Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying at a symposium on alternate dispute resolution, in September this year.
“The new law has been drafted. And we will see the light of day before the end of the year. Secondly, the BOI will be replaced with the Economic Commission. Which is also looking at the resolution of disputes,” he said.
Sri Lanka has set up an Alternate Dispute Resolution Centre in 2018.
Sri Lanka was looking at Singapore as an example and should strive to match or surpass the country except for costs where it should be a competitive advantage, the president said at the time, adding that there was a void in the region Sri Lanka can fill.
“This is the key lesson to be derived. It is also essential for all lawyers and individuals involved in legal services to broaden their perspectives and explore opportunities beyond their current scope,” he said. (Colombo/Nov08/2023)