Foreign Investment Up by $2 billion
According to the Minister of Investment Promotion, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, Sri Lanka is expected to receive over $2 billion of foreign investment this year. The country will direct the investment to four sectors, namely, tourism, education, industrial development and the service sectors. In addition, Sri Lanka will use the investment to fund projects in various sectors to generate job opportunities that will facilitate in financing the external debt, which currently exceeds $22 billion.
Although, Sri Lanka lagged in economic activity because of the decade-long civil war, the country is developing infrastructure facilities under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime. Moreover, foreign investors find Sri Lanka an attractive investment hub as the country possesses basic infrastructure including expressways, seaports, and airports.
Even though Sri Lanka is able to tap foreign investors, the country hasn’t attracted much investment in the education sector. Lack of proper educational facilities in the country compels Sri Lankan students to go abroad for higher studies, which puts a heavy burden on its economy and drains nearly $400 million from the country.
Sri Lanka requires investment in its commerce and trade sector if it hopes to revive and develop its manufacturing units in the Free Trade and Industrial Zones. The incoming foreign investment will provide stimulus to Sri Lanka’s industrial sector, comprising of 29% of the GDP.