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
“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
The personal taxation threshold had been extended providing much
“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.