By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW):A stable investment policy and a unified investment law is set to be introduced, making Sri Lanka the easiest and most attractive country in the Asian region for investment.
Investment Promotion State Minister Dilum Amunugama said that a committee of experts has been appointed to introduce the new investment policy.
All services of the Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI) have been made more flexible. A fully-established Investor Facilitation Centre (IFC) at the World Trade Centre, west tower, 27th floor, has been established.
Further, a new marketing communication programme is soon to be launched to attract 100 IT service companies and encourage 50 existing BOI companies to reinvest.
Amunugama also said that many facilities such as the establishment of advisory councils for identified sectors, digitization of key investor services, and modernization of existing zones will be introduced to meet international green standards.
The other measure proposed were the introduction of a partnership finder database, five-year resident visa programme, etc. have already been implemented
High regulatory powered investment promotion agency (authority) will take up the task of expediting the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) in to the country efficiently and expeditiously, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe disclosed
Special committee appointed by President Ranil Wickremasinghe has already made a recommendation to set up this new agency by bringing the Board of Investment (BOI), the Export Development Board (EDB) and the Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation (SLECIC) together onto one platform, he said.
National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) and other entities that support exports and investments will also come under the purview of the new agency.
The budget 2023 has allocated Rs 100 million to implement the investment and export sector reforms expeditiously.
These institutions connected to investment and exports will function under the proposed new agency following the re-enacting of 1978 Greater Colombo Economic Commission (GCEC) laws making it compatible with modern day needs.
The Board of Investment (BOI) is now completely out of target in attracting Foreign Direct Investment confining its operations to encourage BOI enterprises to carry out their businesses, economic experts warned.
BOI should be in the forefront of business attraction and supply chain management and need to be ready to react quickly to these challenges, they pointed out.
The government has taken this decision of merging BOI with other export related state institutions after evaluating the performance of the these institutions during the recent past.
On average, it takes around 170 days to approve an investment project in Sri Lanka as these processes involve over 40 line agencies, it has been observed.
At present there are over 73 project proposals are still to get approval at around 10 different agencies. The delay in approving the projects is not auger well for investors.
The aim is to expedite and stream line the investment approval process to cater to the needs of investors within four or five days under one roof on the directions of the President.