Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 10 April 2016





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Foreign investors invited to boost development

Sri Lanka’s has invited foreign investors to join its development projects in the areas of shipping industry, transportation and roads, industrial estates, expressways, irrigation and the creation of a new Megapolis at the 19th Asia Investment Conference in Hong Kong on Friday.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake made a presentation on ‘Knowledge is opportunity’ at the conference.

He highlighted favourable conditions for investment such as a convenient infrastructure, competitive labour costs, tax incentives and convenient living conditions for foreign investors.

“Our sound economic policies rested on the medium term strategies of generating one million employment opportunities, enhancing income levels, development of rural economies, ensuring land ownership to all strata of society and the creation of a wide and strong middle class. The Budget presented in November 2015 created new vistas for private sector investments with emphasis of Public, private partnerships,” he said.

“The island’s tourism sector is booming. Hence the need for more hotels and accommodation for visitors keeps on increasing.

The current Budget provided many opportunities, benefits and concessions for tourism related investments,” the Finance Minister said.

“While addressing the decline in tax revenue over the years we provided immense relief to income tax payers bringing down the rate to 15% for most of the economic sub sectors excluding certain limited enterprises.

The personal taxation threshold had been extended providing much needed relief.

“The government also wants to develop micro, small and medium enterprises and the concessions and opportunities granted extend from finance, venture capital and marketing assistance.

“Although as an island nation, Sri Lanka is yet to reach self-sufficiency in fish which provides ample opportunities for new investors to venture into profitably. The GSP facility curtailed by the European Commission during the rule of the last regime is to be restored in the near future, relevant to the fishing industry. There are also opportunities in public infrastructure development such as education, health and housing. The principle of ‘Public, private partnership’ will be adopted at all times.“Whilst the traditional industries like gems and jewellery and apparel will be further promoted and developed, new options such as the creation of a financial centre for the SAARC region in Colombo termed ‘Colombo International Financial Centre’ will come into existence soon.

“Capital markets are an untapped resource in Sri Lanka. Demutualization of the Colombo Stock Exchange will be explored to develop capital markets and to ensure vibrancy and dynamism of the sector. The potential of growth of capital markets are immense.

“Our population is ageing and we are making provisions to provide due care for them. There will be ample opportunity for the entrepreneurs to venture into this sector and the government will provide necessary assistance,” the Finance Minister said.



Seylan Sure
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