Mar 14, Colombo: Recognizing Sri Lanka has a natural advantage to become the hub for boat manufacturing in the Asian Region due to its strategic location and skills, Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency, Board of Investment (BOI) has taken an active role to boost the boat building industry in the country.
Chairman of BOI Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera says the boatbuilding industry can transform the economic landscape of the country since it is linked to vital economic activities such as fisheries, tourism, offshore oil and gas exploration and the export of boats and ships that will grow in importance in the future.
Addressing a function recently, the Chairman said the BOI therefore welcomes and facilitates investments in the vital industry.
According to the Chairman, as a result of several initiatives taken by the Government, the private sector and other stake holders the boatbuilding industry in Sri Lanka has now become one of the leading local industries with a potential of emerging as an export sector.
The BOI Chairman, the government's objective is to transform Sri Lanka into a maritime hub as envisioned in the "Mahinda Chintana Way Forward" which is a blueprint of the country's future development.
Folding the end of the armed conflict, considerable opportunities have emerged in the boatbuilding sector such as building boats for excursions, whale watching, leisure fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving, the BOI Chairman pointed out.
The interest of the local community in boating activities will create additional markets not only for the exiting entrepreneurs but also for the new investors in the industry, he said.
Colombo Dockyard Chairman Akihiko Nakauchi said the Sri Lankan work force is very diligent and dexterous and it is very easy to find highly educated young people. He commended the excellent service provided by the Board of Investment for the sector.
The BOI Chairman said the government is confident that the seas off Sri Lanka offer many untapped economic opportunities which favor investment and trade.
In addition to enhancing earnings of foreign exchange, the Boat building industry itself offers a wide range of benefits to the country and it has generated many job opportunities for the youth and created an inflow of technical know-how into the country, he said.
The Chairman added that the Board of Investment has played and will continue to play a leading role in order to developing the boat building industry.