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FDIs in 1Q doubles; minister confident of achieving elusive US $ 2bn target this year

30 May 2014 04:02 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Despite failing to achieve the target of US $ 2 billion in foreign direct investments (FDIs) last year, Investment Promotions Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said they are confident of their ability to exceed the mark of US $ 2 billion this year.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Minister Abeywardena said the FDIs attracted in the first quarter of 2014 alone offers incentive to be confident in their ability to exceed the US $ 2 billion mark. Last November, however the minister set a goal of US $ 2.5 billion in FDIs for 2014.

“Within the first quarter of 2014 alone, Sri Lanka has attracted a total of US $ 442 million worth FDIs, which was only US $ 219 million in 2013. This is a 104 percent growth in comparison to the first quarter of last year,” the minister said.

He said 36 percent of investments were made into tourism, 26 percent into utilities, 15 percent into infrastructure, 7 percent into i ndustry and 4 percent into apparel.

A total of 40 projects have been approved within the first quarter of the year, while agreements have been signed on 38 and 26 have already started operations.

He said the goal of reaching US $ 2 billion in FDIs last year could have been achieved if not for the delays and challenges posed by criticisms that arose locally.

The minister also commented on the increase in export revenues in 2013, relative to the previous year. “The total value of export earnings by the Board of Investment (BoI) enterprises has been US $ 6,606 million, which is an 8 percent increase in export revenue relative to 2012.”

Meanwhile, the Investment Promotion Ministry together with the BoI has launched a programme to forecast the necessities of construction materials for the large-scale projects that are due to begin construction within the coming three years.

“Calculations on the need for material such as cement, steel, glass, aluminium and timber will be made, in order to assist the process of encouraging investments for the production of such materials locally. We welcome foreign investors as well as local investors who wish to partner with a foreign establishment,” he added. He said they are planning to conclude the calculations within a month.” The minister went on to state that if an 8 percent economic growth is to be maintained, FDIs worth of US $ 4 billion is a necessity. “Without at least US $ 4 billion FIDs per year, the aspired economic growth cannot be achieved,” he added.
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