June 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka has reaped the benefits of the end of its three decades long conflict with a record foreign direct investment (FDI) for the first quarter of the year.
Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI) said today that it has received foreign direct inflows of US$ 236 million in the first quarter of 2011 representing the highest-ever quarterly inflow of FDI into the country.
Attributing the record inflow to the recent revival of tourism industry in the island, the Chairman of the BOI Jayampathi Bandaranayake in a statement said it is a growth of almost 160 percent compared to the same period last year.
According to the Chairman, during the first quarter of this year foreign investments in the tourism sector totaled US$ 132 million. Hong Kong-based Shangri-la Hotel projects in Colombo and Hambantota were significant investments in the field, he noted.
The investments in the telecommunication sector recorded the next highest growth amounting to US$ 62 million dollars. The apparel sector has earned US$ 7 million as investments.
The BOI has given approval for six garment factories worth US$ 40 million in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
The Board expects to receive investments worth one billion dollars this year and raise it to US$ 2.5 billion by 2015.
“The goal is to increase the FDI target gradually to USD 2.5 billion by 2015,” Bandaranayake said.
The Chairman hopes to increase the FDI to around 4.0 percent of gross domestic product from the current level of about 2.0 percent.
The BOI Chairman said more foreign investors encouraged by the peaceful environment in the country have come forward to start ventures in post-war Sri Lanka. The government also has provided tax concessions to investments over US$ 3 million and other perks.