Sri Lanka BOI, coast regulator to speed up investment approvals
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s investment promotion agency and the coastal regulator are to work closely together to speed up approvals for investments, especially in tourism and mineral sands mining.
The Board of Investment said it has signed an agreement with Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Department to enhance investor facilitation.
The agreement "is very significant as approvals by this body are vital for projects in the tourism sector and also those related to the mining of mineral sands,” the BOI said in a statement.
The Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Department is the 13th state body to sign agreements under the Single Window Investment Facilitation Task force (SWIFT).
SWIFT aims to fast-track investments through a virtual one stop shop, the statement said.
All agencies in SWIFT are connected through an online connection which makes it possible to act on a project proposal without the requirement of officials being physically present at the BOI.
“This is particularly crucial since some projects may require up to 14 approvals or permits and any investor who would have to physically go to all these Ministries would be deterred by the excessive bureaucracy involved,” the statement said.
“The BOI therefore is confident that the continual development and implementation of SWIFT would encourage investors to invest in Sri Lanka as the process is considerably simplified and the new system would also provide greater information and additionally be much more transparent.
Agencies that sign the SWIFT agreement are agreeable to grant approval to investors within a short timeframe, the BOI said.
Other agencies that have joined SWIFT are Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation (SLLRDC), Department of Registrar of Companies, Urban Development authority, Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Inland Revenue, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB), Department of Immigration and Emigration, National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) and Department of Import & Export Control (DIEC).
Other state agencies involved in the investment process will follow.