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Sunday September 24th, 2023

Sri Lanka to offer land for investors to build industrial zones

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will offer land for private investors to build and operate industrial zones, Director General of the Board of Investment, Renuka Weerakone said.

“Going forward, policy makers have made the decision that we will offer lands to investors where they can set up PPP projects for zonal development, and the government or the BOI will not have to spend on capital infrastructure,” Weerakone said.

In Thulhiriya, Sri Lanka’s MAS group was offered land at the site of a defunct textile factory.

“They did the infrastructure, they are running it, they filled it up, they marketed the place, and it is full today. and they are always looking for more land,: Weerakone said.

“We have already informed our missions in other countries to bring in proposals to see whether there are investors who want to run a zone,” Minister Amunugama said.

“So they can manage the entire zone, and of course, the BOI would be a part of it by facilitating, but the zone will be managed by a private investor.”

In Vietnam large investments started to come to the country when a joint venture between Singapore’s Sembcorp and Vietnam’s Becamex IDC started building industrial parks in 1996 near Ho Chi Minh City and led to what is now the Bin Doung industral hub.

Foreign investors are again showing interest in Sri Lanka as stability returns, Weerakone said.

“We see a growing interest in this, and there are Korean, Japanese, US, and German investors starting to come in,” she said.

“With policy changes that have happened, there is going to be stability, which they were not certain about, so we are very optimistic.”

Sri Lanka is targeting between 1.5 to 2.0 billion US dollars of foreign investments in 2023. (Colombo, May 28, 2023)

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  1. Gaurawa Liyanage says:

    Wonder what the going commission rate is for the approvals?

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  1. Gaurawa Liyanage says:

    Wonder what the going commission rate is for the approvals?

Sri Lanka India industrial zone around Trinco, maritime links mooted

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ports Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had highlighted the desire of both the Governments to work closely to develop the industrial zone at Trincomalee, after accepting an invitation to participate in a maritime summit.

The Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) will be held in India from October 17-19, 2023 at Mumbai where Sri Lanka has been invited at a partner country.

At a curtain raiser event on September 22, India’s High Commissioner in Colombo, Gopal Baglay had said both countries were working on enhancing sea connectivity according to a vision document launched during a recent visit of the President of Sri Lanka to India.

Minister de Silva will lead a delegation from Sri Lanka to the summit.

Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India, T K Ramachandran said the Global Maritime India Summit aims strengthen the Indian maritime economy by promoting global and regional partnerships and facilitating investments.

The event will give an opportunity to the Government of Sri Lanka to attracting greater investment from India in development of its maritime infrastructure, Ramachandran said.

It will also facilitate greater business to business interactions. (Colombo/Sept24/2023)

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Sri Lanka brings back import para tariff on milk

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has brought back an import para tariff called the Ports and Airports Levy, to several grades of milk powder.

Milk powder has been removed from a list of PAL exemptions, making them liable for a 10 percent tax.

The PAL para tariffs are also a contentious issue in terms of export competitiveness, and the government has previously given undertakings that they will be eliminated.

Trade freedoms of the poor figure in an IMF/World bank reform program with the governments.

Milk is a protein rich food, in a country where children of poor families are facing stunting and malnutrition.

Economic nationalism is seen at high levels in food, with several businessmen are pushing for trade protection, amid an overall autarkist (self-sufficiency) ideology, going directly against policies followed in East Asia, which the same as hold up as examples.

Sri Lanka keeps dairy product prices up ostensibly to bring profits to a domestic dairy company and farmers.

Sri Lanka also keeps maize prices up, ostensibly to give profits to farmers and collectors. (Colombo/Sept22/2023)

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Sri Lanka govt warns liquor manufacturers: pay defaulted tax or lose licence

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka government which is struggling to raise the state revenue despite   higher taxes, has warned liquor manufacturers to pay defaulted taxes or lose their licence.

The government is now getting tough with past tax defaulters amid concerns over falling short of this year’s revenue target agreed with the International Monetary Fun (IMF).

“Liquor manufacturing firms owe us 660 crore rupees (6.6 billion rupees),” Siyambalapitiya told  reporters on Thursday (21).

“Most of this or around a third is the only excise tax amount to be paid. The rest is penalty. If a liquor manufacturer does not pay on time, we impose a penalty of 3 percent per month This means 36 percent (penalty) per annum,” he said.

“We have given them deadline to repay the basic excise taxes. If they don’t pay, we will cancel their licence.”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government committed an ambitious revenue target among many other reforms to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in return to a $3 billion loan package.

However, the revenue could face a short fall of 100 billion rupees, State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said.

A new Central Bank Act also has legally prevented the government of printing money at its discretion as  in the past.  (Colombo/September 24/2023)

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