Sri Lanka should set up EDC to fast track investments - Rohitha Bogollagama | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka should set up EDC to fast track investments - Rohitha Bogollagama

16 July, 2023
Rohitha  Bogollagama
Rohitha Bogollagama

Sri Lanka should set up a special Economic Development Commission (EDC) to fast track investments, said former Investment Promotion and Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama.

Bogollagama who is now the Sri Lanka High Commissioner-designate to the United Kingdom said that this should be similar to the special Investment Promotion Board that is being set up in Singapore and many other countries to speed up investment projects.

He said this at a webinar titled “Is Sri Lanka Ready for Investment” in Colombo recently

He said that Sri Lanka badly needs more FDI and one cannot let the prospective investors go through traditional channels which is very time consuming. “We have to fast track their investments or their investment interest will be only confined to inquiries and the ‘traditional approval delays will move them to other destinations that will welcome them with open arms.”

He said that even India has opened up for foreign investors and they too have taken measures to speed up investment procedure.

“This proposed commission can work closely with the Board of Investment.”

Former Foreign Minister said that he will focus on bringing investors from the UK and he has studied their areas of interest. “I observed that from 1990 to 2000 there was steady flow of FDI from the UK but since then they have virtually dried up.”

“I must say that the somewhat ‘anti west’ policies that were adopted by some governments since then did not create a conducive investment appetite for English investors.

“However, this has now changed and I am confident that Sri Lanka can now woo more UK investors to Sri Lanka.”

He said that Power and Energy, tourism, minerals, fisheries sectors too would be an area that would be a focus by British investors. He also said that Education too is another new area where there is investment potential. UK’s much sought after Harrow University has opened in Bangalore and Sri Lanka too should look to follow up on this area and propose Port City Colombo for such investments. - SS