Sri Lanka new regime to cut red tape to encourage investment

EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s new government will move fast to reduce red tape that hinder investments, the new Investment Promotion and Highways Minister Kabir Hashim has declared.

"In next couple of days we are looking at some regulations which are stifling key investments," he told reporters soon after assuming duties.

"Those regulations which can be removed without doing any damage to the country’s economy will be done away with."

Excessive red tape has cost the country in terms of loss of foreign direct investment (FDI), he said.

"As a result we are losing lots of investments to countries in the region," Hashim said.

"We already feel there are 3-4 investments that can be secured if a few legal and bureaucratic changes can be made."

Good governance is also important in attracting investments, he said.

"This government is firm about adhering to standards of good governance," Hashim said.

"We will have very clear transparent processes. If there’s a lack of transparency, we will remove it."

The new regime also wants to move Sri Lanka up the index that measures ease of doing  business.





"We want to move up the ease of doing business index very fast so that we can compete better with other nations," Hashim said. 

"Sri Lanka has got very good resources. It’s a matter of structure – of clearing structures and putting the right structure in place to take off for a huge investment drive.

"We’re looking at competing on an equal footing with countries like Vietnam and Thailand – getting into the big league of FDI."

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