BOI confident of achieving FDI target this year | Sunday Observer

BOI confident of achieving FDI target this year

26 September, 2021
Sanjaya Mohottala
Sanjaya Mohottala

The Board of Investment(BoI), the apex body driving investments to the country is confident of reaching USD1 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) with a capital formation of around USD 1.5-2 billion this year, its chief Sanjaya Mohottala told the Sunday Observer Business last week.

“We have already approved projects to the tune of USD 600 million while projects to the value of another USD 1.5 bn to 2 bn are in the pipeline and discussions are ongoing, Mohottala said, adding that capital formation as a result in the first six months this year has been USD 770 million, of which USD 400 million FDIs and the rest from local investments.

Capital formation from investments last year stood at USD 1.4 billion of which USD 700 million was from FDIs while the rest was from local investments by BOI companies.

“Notching nearly USD 1.5 billion in capital formation last year despite the many hurdles and the country being under lockdown was a commendable achievement,” the BOI chief said. The apex body for investments approved projects to the value of USD 2.3 billion last year. On an upbeat note the BOI chief said there would be investments coming into the country in October-November this year when the country opens fully for business following the vaccination drive which has covered over 50 percent of the population with both doses.

“Hundred percent of our factory employees who are mostly youth and the low risk group have been vaccinated,” Mohotala said, which is a noteworthy feat compared to regional peers who have a low vaccination rate for youth.

He said all attention is now drawn on the Budget which will provide direction for next year.

The last Sri Lanka investment forum focused on key drivers of economic growth such as improving the Ease of Doing Business Index with legal and tax reforms and digitization of documentation processes which would help boost investor confidence.

Mohottala said more investments would flow into the country following the operation of the Eravur Fabric park and the pharmaceutical manufacturing zone in the South.

“We have approved the first investment of USD 35 million and another USD 150 million is in the pipeline for projects in the apparel zone while discussions are under way for investments in the pharma zone. Plans are afoot to set up zones for rubber, agri processing and electronics assembly.

The fabric park in the East will enable Sri Lanka to save over USD500 million plus in import substitution while resuscitating the region’s dormant economy while the apparel zone in the East will be a fillip to employment creation and a shot in the arm to the local economy which is yearning for fresh life lines, Mohottala said.