By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is targeting to get US $ 2 billion investments this year, an increase from only US $ 1 billion reported last year, said Chairman of the Board of Investment Dinesh Weerakkody.
“The BOI is looking at targeted initiatives to get from $ 1 billion in 2022 to $ 2 billion in 2023 by attracting 100 technology services companies with a new product, and a targeted programme to get 50 existing BOI companies to reinvest.
It will be setting up industry advisory councils for the four thrust sectors for leads, policy tweaking and promotion, digitalization of key investor services and aggressive promotion of the destination.
Key account management and modernization of existing zones to meet with international green standards were the other measures taken to increase foreign investment, he said. .
Also there is a large number of new sectors which are emerging, associated with digitalization and with the new economy.
Also the traditional sectors have new elements coming out as sub-sectors. However the sectors of the future will be the new sectors which are now emerging,” he said.
However the target set by the Board of Investments (BOI) for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) for 2023 is 1.5 billion US dollars and BOI FDI realized in the First quarter of 2023 amounted to 211 million US dollars, State Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama stated.
The BOI has approved investments of 682 million US dollars from January to July, he added.
Despite the ongoing economic crisis, the BOI has been able to attract Foreign Direct Investments of 1.75 billion US dollars exceeding the targeted amount of 1 billion US dollars for 2022, State Minister Dilum Amunugama mentioned.
State Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama further commented; that it is necessary to update and modify Sri Lanka’s existing legislative framework in order to make the country an investment-friendly destination.
It is expected to introduce new investment laws by the end of 2023, without affecting other government entities’ current legal frameworks.
A seven-member committee consisting of Director Generals of government institutions has already been appointed to look into the existing laws that restrict investments.
The government intends to execute a program under concept of ‘One Village – One Product’ to empower entrepreneurs who produce export-level products in selected regional secretariats, involving them in the export process, and scale it up at the District and National levels.
A Central Export Center will be established for them and measures will be taken to strengthen the connection between the rural exporters and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board.
In line with the government’s proposal to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes, 200 project proposals have so far been submitted.
The Minister of Indigenous Medicine Promotion has undertaken the task of amending the relevant laws. The government intends to launch the Cannabis Pilot Project by the end of 2023 following the passage of these laws.