The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has managed to secure around $ 461 million foreign direct investment (FDI) and local investment so far this year amidst the country’s battle with the pandemic.
The said FDI figure is the cumulation of investments from 103 new and expansionary projects the BOI has approved this year.
Responding to an email query made by us, BOI sources stated that from January to August 2021, a total of 28 new projects and 75 expansionary projects were approved and undertaken by the BOI, thereby indicating investor confidence in Sri Lanka despite the ongoing challenges.
“The estimated amount of FDI received is $ 212.8 million, whilst the estimated local investment made was about $ 248.6, thereby totalling the investments secured by BOI as of August 2021 at $ 461.4 million,” sources stated, sharing the confirmed statistics forwarded by the BOI Research Department.
With reference to the Investment Guide 2020 published by the BOI, in 2016, FDI was at $ 801 million, followed by an increase to $ 1,710 million in 2017, later succeeded by an exceptional increase to $ 2,367 million worth of FDI in 2018 and then a drop to $ 1,189 million in 2019.
According to the report, the top three countries that invested in Sri Lanka during the period from 2010 to 2019 are as follows: China had invested approximately $ 3,055 million in Sri Lanka, followed by Hong Kong with $ 1,792 million and India with $ 1,353 million worth of investment.
Further, speaking at the Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021, BOI Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala stated that nearly 50% of capital formation which took place in 2020 were from existing BOI investors who expanded their footprint in order to take advantage of global opportunities, thereby indicating the conviction investors have on Sri Lanka’s opportunities and its competitiveness as a sourcing destination.
Pledging the involvement of BOI, Mohottala, addressing all upcoming investors, stated: “As the apex investment promotion entity, we will help you to make the most of this opportunity by providing end-to-end facilitation to help you set up the company in the shortest possible time. Sri Lanka is the next growth heaven; take advantage.”
Meanwhile, in February, Mohottala stated that BOI is expecting $ 2 billion worth of anticipated projects to come into the country this year, as many international investors are keen to invest in Sri Lankan businesses and projects.
“There are high-profile investors from Europe, the US, and India, and beyond that, there are always investors who wish to come in; there’s multiple dialogues going on. The investors are taking advantage of the opportunities because of the investor bubble,” added Mohottala.
Additionally, the BOI Chairman also expressed views about the country and the investments to projects further in the present year.
“If you look at the Sri Lankan point of view, there are a lot of opportunities for industries to expand. It all depends on how Sri Lanka will come out of the pandemic and after the vaccinations take effect where it is safer, and once we get the production stability, more investments would be coming in,” he further commented.
As of today, the strong macroeconomic environment and supportive government policies, political stability, close links with foreign markets, excellent education and healthcare systems, outstanding infrastructure, and mineral resource endowments are few important factors that investors consider when making a decision to invest in Sri Lanka.