Sri Lanka signs up to $249 mn in investment deals in 2016 first quarter: BOI

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has signed up to $249 million worth of investment deals, with $189 million coming in March following fast-track approval, the country’s investment promotion agency said.

In the first quarter, 35 projects with planned employment of 4,350 direct jobs had been approved, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka said.

March approvals of $189 million involve 19 projects relating to 3,100 workers.

  The approvals were in the following sectors:

Housing apartment complexes

A total five investment agreements have been signed to build apartment complexes in Thimbirigasyaya, Rajagiriya, Kohuwala, Nugegoda and Mount Lavinia by companies Ekroma Relators (Pvt) Ltd., Brix Realty (Pvt) Ltd., Blue Mountain Apartment (Pvt) Ltd., Alpha Homes (Pvt) Ltd and Rush Housing (Pvt) Ltd, respectively. The cumulative value of these five projects is $28 million, resulting in creating 1,575 employment opportunities. The new buildings, once completed, will contribute towards creating a modern lifestyle in the Colombo district.

Hotel projects

In the month of March 2016, two agreements were signed to develop hotel projects in Sri Lanka with a cumulative value of $11 million. Sunset Beach Resort & Spa (Pvt) Ltd signed an agreement to set up a 32-room boutique hotel in Wadduwa, while Jinkany Sirigiya (Pvt) Ltd signed an agreement to set up a 60-room “four star” hotel in Sigiriya.

The construction of these hotels will contribute towards achieving the Sri Lankan government’s current target to build a 75,000 room capacity in the country to meet the requirements of 4 million tourist arrivals by 2020.

Manufacturing projects

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Furnimix (Pvt) Ltd signed an agreement to set up a project to manufacture particle boards, Melamine-content particle boards, plywood sheets, pantry cupboards, timber veneer laminated furniture, office chairs, foam mattresses, steel cupboards and sofas, etc. for the local market. The company will cultivate a plant known as “Tabebuia Rosea” to manufacture wooden products. This is a backward integration exercise by the company, where the raw material will be produced in Sri Lanka.

Zhonggang Exports International (Pvt) Ltd. signed an agreement to set up a project to manufacture granite blocks in value-added foam for the export market. The production facility will be set up at Narawila, Matugama. Thermotex (Pvt) Ltd. signed an agreement to set up a manufacturing plant in Malabe to produce printed fabric for the export market.

These investments contribute to the development of quality human resources, which are sought by Sri Lanka’s growing private sector.

Education sector

Educo Lanka (Pvt) Ltd signed an agreement to set up a higher education institute at Rajagiriya to provide degrees and diplomas in the areas of engineering, IT, arts, business management and commerce. This is an institute affiliated to Monash University, Australia. Meanwhile, Vinum Academy (Pvt) Ltd. signed an agreement to set up a hospitality dducation centre to train professionals for the hospitality industry. The value of the investment is $1 million and will be located in Colombo 3.

Agriculture pojects

Two agriculture projects were signed in March 2016.

  Cropwiz (Pvt) Ltd. signed an agreement to set up a project to cultivate high-quality vegetables for the export market. The facility will be located at Walpita, for an investment of $6.1 million.

  Watawala Dairy Ltd signed an agreement to set up a dairy farm at Hatton. The investment for the project is $12 million. This project is important, as Sri Lanka imports much of its dairy requirements and it can be considered an import substitution project.

Mini hydro projects

As power generation is one of the key areas of investment, the BOI encourages investment in this sector. Thannewatta Mini Hydropower Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. signed an agreement to set up a 1MW mini hydropower plant in Diyatalawa, Badulla.

  Energy Craft (Pvt) Ltd. signed an agreement to set up a 750KW mini hydropower plant in Kitulgala. Moragahaoya (Pvt) Ltd has signed an agreement to set up a 1.5MW mini hydropower plant in Panvila, Kandy.

The cumulative investment of these two projects is estimated to be $4 million.

Electricity generated by these projects will be supplied to the National Grid, which helps to meet growing demand for electricity in the country.

Hub operations

E F L Hub (Pvt) Ltd signed an agreement to set up a project to undertake offshore business, front-end services and headquarters operations, with an investment value of $1.2 million. This project is approved under the commercial hub operations category. Sri Lanka is an ideal location for entrepot trading. Sri Lanka is a very attractive destination for this style of operation due to the island’s central location in the Indian Ocean.

E A Macro Holdings (Pvt) Lt signed on to set up a mixed development project in Colombo 3 for an investment of $55 million.

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