Sri Lanka’s BOI expects FDIs to be delayed, not cancelled

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka is expecting foreign direct investments (FDIs) to be delayed, but there are no cancellations yet, a top Board of Investment official said.

"There are no cancellations as such, but there can be delays," BOI Chairman Mangala Yapa told reporters in Colombo.

"Investments, unlike tourism, you can’t measure today on who has come. It’s a medium to long-term measure," he said.

"We don’t see a dramatic reduction, and investors are also diligently looking at how things are moving," he said.

Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said FDIs are expected to fall by as much as 700 million US dollars in a worst-case scenario in 2019.

Yapa admitted that FDI flows to Sri Lanka may change due to the Easter Sunday bombings and the October constitutional crisis.

However, he said that even if some FDI are not expected to realize now, they may in the future.

"If they didn’t come in the first quarter, doesn’t mean they will not come in the second quarter. They will shift, and they will come."

"Our job is to ensure that what is committed is coming, and coming fast."

"So don’t purely go by the numbers."

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"The central bank’s job is to be realistic, and my job is to be positive and promote Sri Lanka to the world," Yapa said.

He said operations at all BOI registered companies have continued normally since the bombings, except for the three hotels which were attacked.

"We’ve done first wave of confidence building among existing investors. They are our brand ambassadors. They will carry the message to their principles and their suppliers," Yapa said.

"People who have matured in the pipeline are going ahead."

He said the BOI is building confidence among investments earlier on in the pipeline.  (Colombo/June03/2019)
 

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