For­eign In­vest­ment Up by $2 bil­lion

Southasia - - Briefing -

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.

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