Apr 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka in an effort to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country after the end of the war is looking to woo Malaysian investors, especially in infrastructure development and the rapidly growing hospitality industry.
Malaysia's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Azmi Zainuddin has noted that Sri Lanka offers immense opportunities for Malaysian investors in infrastructure development and in hospitality industry.
"Malaysian companies have always been here, even during the war, especially in the telecommunications and infrastructure segment. Now there are more opportunities available and we should take advantage of it," Zainuddin has told Bernama, the national news agency of Malaysia.
The envoy has highlighted that there are construction of several new hotels in Colombo by big players in the industry but the leisure industry in Jaffna and in the Eastern Province is yet to be fully developed and offers immense opportunities.
"Malaysia should capitalize on its good bilateral relationship with Sri Lanka to have a bigger presence in the country," he said.
A Malaysian delegation recently held discussions with Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency Board of Investment (BOI) to develop and promote Malaysian Foreign Direct Investments to Sri Lanka.
The projects to be promoted are in variety of sectors including tourism, agriculture including Fish Processing, Development of Industrial and IT Parks and Healthcare.
Speaking of tourism, the envoy has described the people-to-people ties are important. Tourist arrivals from Sri Lanka to Malaysia reached 64,051 last year while this year 70,000 tourists from Sri Lanka are expected.
Malaysia is one of the leading investors in Sri Lanka, whose investments have resulted in considerable employment opportunities and revenue to the country, especially in the telecommunication sector. Malaysia's private sector investment in Sri Lanka to date has reportedly topped US$1.5 billion.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, bilateral trade in 2013 between both countries stood at US$ 577.66 million, with exports from Sri Lanka at US$ 44.92 million and imports at US$ 532.74 million.