Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says over 50 local and foreign financial institutions have expressed their desire to link up with the Colombo International Finance Centre (CIFC), which is to be established as per the 2016 Budget proposals. According to the minister, the activities of the CIFC will commence in April this year.
The countries in the SAARC region, where nearly 25 percent of the world population live, can acquire special benefits and concessions through the CIFC, he pointed out. The Finance Minister also pledged to shut out unscrupulous elements earning money through illegal and unlawful means from the CIFC.
The proposed centre is to be established on D.R. Wijewardane Mawatha, Colombo in a 300,000 square feet area. Sri Lanka’s geographical location is a key factor in establishing this centre and it mainly targets the SAARC region, which is home to more than one fourth of the entire world population, and it is to be equipped with all facilities required for the smooth functioning of such a centre.
Special physical and digital infrastructure and human capital as well as the necessary legal and regulatory framework of the centre will be put in place by the Sri Lankan government.
It is expected to be on par with Dubai’s International Finance Centre and other similar centres throughout the world.
A commercial court to resolve commercial disputes expeditiously and in a transparent manner in compliance with the regulatory requirements of the finance sector will be an integral part of the proposed CIFC.