Government to introduce new investment laws by the end this year.
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW):Sri Lanka is set to go for modification and updating of Sri Lanka’s existing legislative framework, in a bid to make the country an investment-friendly destination, Acting Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama disclosed.
Amunugama revealed that new investment laws are expected to be introduced by the end of this year.
Additionally, foreign investors do not receive their investment rights when they enter this country. As a solution, the government is to update legislative framework to ensure that their investment rights are protected.
A seven-member committee consisting of Director Generals of government institutions has already been appointed to look into the existing laws that restrict investments.
When the Members of Parliament sought clarification on the intricate situation surrounding matters like acquiring licences for investments in Sri Lanka, the Minister of State addressed their concerns by referring to the upcoming Investment Act that is currently under proposal.
Moreover, the Minister of State highlighted the establishment of an Investor Facilitation Center, situated on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center. He said this centre aims to provide comprehensive facilities, including addressing investor issues and will operate in close coordination with various government agencies.
Additionally, investors have been granted the opportunity to meet with the heads of relevant institutions to present their concerns. Amunugama emphasised that the Investor Facilitation Center would serve as a platform for investors to swiftly address their current challenges.
He further mentioned that this arrangement is temporary and will remain in place until the new law is enacted.
Similarly, the Minister of State pointed out that specific investment zones with the potential to attract investments to Sri Lanka have been identified. Active measures are being taken to promote these zones and attract new investors to contribute to the country’s economic growth, he added.
The Members of Parliament also emphasised the importance of providing accurate information concerning investments brought into the country.
They highlighted the need for transparency and the presentation of genuine information when engaging with international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund
Referring to the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) earned by the Board of Investments (BOI), the acting Minister noted that the target set by the BOI for FDIs for 2023 is US$ 1.5 billion, of which $211 million was realized in the first quarter.
The BOI has approved investments of $ 682 million from January to July 2023, 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, Amunugama mentioned.
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.
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.