Oct 24, Colombo: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Sri Lanka has steadily increased since the end of the war reaching US$ 1.2 billion mark last year and the country expects to bring in US$ 2 billion this year, Minister of Investment Promotion Lakshman Yapa said.
Addressing a Board of Investment (BOI)-organized forum held under the theme of "Economic benefits for Sri Lanka and CHOGM," the Sri Lankan Minister said from 2006 to 2012 the country was able to attract US$ 6.8 billion, which was a 70 percent increase from the US$ 2.36 billion it raised from 1978 to 2005.
Speaking of the benefits of the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) that will be held on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) next month, the Minister said the summit is an ideal opportunity to promote FDIs into the country as more than 70 business delegations of Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries will be participating in the CBF.
According to Minister Abeywardena Sri Lanka has already attracted 17 companies with more than US$ 8 billion worth of investments based on the Strategic Development Act.
Abeywardena noted that to achieve this year's target the government has encouraged not only foreign investments but also local investments as well.
He said the government envisages increasing domestic investments up to 35 percent of the GDP and enhancing the inflow of foreign direct investments to maintain an 8 percent economic growth.
Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion Faizer Mustapha addressing the forum said Sri Lanka could expect more than US$ 2 billion worth of investments into the country with the CHOGM.
Today, Colombo is transforming into one of the best cities in the region due to its development activities, which itself is an attraction for foreign investments, Mustapha noted.
He noted that the international perception on Sri Lanka could be changed with the holding of the CHOGM and the business community and prospective investors will be greatly pleased about the country's real situation.