Sri Lanka signs FDI deals for estimated US$1.6bn in 2015
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment has signed agreements for foreign direct investments worth an estimated 1.6 billion US dollars in 2015, up slightly from last year, according to the island’s investment promotion agency.
In 2014, Foreign Direct Investment to the island was 1.5 billion dollars, including loans by BOI-registered firms, according to the central bank, up from almost 1.4 billion dollars in 2013.
The BOI said in a statement that improved facilitation by BOI in 2015 under the new government which has said it is committed to speeding up project approvals and eliminating delays had yielded high value projects.
“Once these investments are realized a total of 66 new projects and 45 expansions of existing projects will be operational, resulting in an estimated 1.6 billion dollars of Foreign Direct Investment inflow and generating an estimated 16,075 new employment opportunities,” the BOI said.
“These projects reflect growing investor confidence in Sri Lanka under the present management of the BOI which has introduced new methods to fast track investment including a ‘One Stop Shop’.”
Among the agreements signed by the BOI in 2015 were three agreements with elco Dialog Axiata, Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd and Dialog Television (Pvt) Ltd for a total investment of 175 million dollars.
“Another very significant agreement signed by the BOI in 2015 was with Senok Automobile (Pvt) Ltd. to assemble Volkswagen automobiles in Sri Lanka,” the statement said. This investment is worth 26.5 million dollars.
“Volkswagen is currently the world’s second largest car manufacturer and has opted to set up a base in Sri Lanka,” it said.
“Generally automobile assembly is the first step towardsthe establishment of a fully-fledged automobile manufacturing capability.”
Other investment projects signed in 2015 one to revive Kantale Sugar with M G Sugar Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., a 30-year project agreement run on a Build, Operated and Transfer (BOT) basis between the government of Sri Lanka with 51 percent shareholding and the foreign investor the rest.
“This investment is from Singapore and will result in creating 1,220 new job opportunities. The estimated value of the investment is 100 million dollars,” the BOI said.
Other projects entered into in 2015 include Airport Express Air & Rail Co (Pvt) Ltd. to build an urban township that will link Colombo to Katunayake with foreign investment from Malaysia, Portugal and Denmark.
The BOI said there were several investments in the tourism and leisure sector.
One was the joint venture between Sri Lankan and Chinese companies to build a 176 roomed tourist hotel in Panadura for 20 million dollars by Jie Zhone Jie Lanka Developing Construction Engineering (Pvt) Ltd.
Greener Water Ltd has entered into an agreement with BOI to build a 5 star hotel with 380 rooms at Negombo with an estimated value of 60 million dollars.
The BOI said it also signed an agreement with Laugfs Pharmaceutical (Pvt) Ltd to manufacture pharmaceuticals with investment of 30.5 million dollars.
Construction projects include a high rise mixed development by Shreepatis Edifice with an estimated value of 330 million dollars and a mixed development project in Colombo by Orion Towers Ltd with estimated value of 42.7 million dollars.
(Colombo/December 15, 2015)