Sri Lanka to draw foreign capital into infrastructure via BOT projects: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is looking to structure build, operate and transfer (BOT) style agreements to bring foreign investments into expressways and other infrastructure and avoid getting into more debt, State Minister for Investment Promotion Keheliya Rambukwella said.

“We are seriously looking at structuring BOT projects for infrastructure,” Minister Rambukwella said.

“Instead of loans it is time to look at foreign investment. I think we have taken enough loans.”

He said highways were a key candidate for BOT style structures.

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Sri Lanka’s Southern Expressway, a government owned toll road, was generating higher than expected cashflows, which can be showcased to foreign investors as the example of the potential toll roads had.

He said the administration by Mahinda Rajapaksa had come under fire for taking too much foreign debt to build infrastructure, but there were assets to prove that the funds were used effectively.

The Norochcholai coal power plants were considered to be best investments of all time, he said.

Rambukwella said the power sector needed investments.

Education was another key focus area of the new administration. There were plans to attract top foreign universities to the country, he said.

(SB-Colombo/Dec03/2019)