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)