Flash Report / Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Investor Forum - Day 2 Key Takeaways

  • Keynote address
  • Port City Colombo – gateway to South Asia
  • Managing the pandemic – protecting life, livelihoods and macro momentum

Day 2 of the Sri Lanka Investor Forum saw deep dive sessions into key sectors like energy, tourism, trade, infrastructure, the equity market and the Port City among many. There were also a number of country specific sessions tailor made to showcase unique investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. The welcome address was given by Mr. Sanjaya Mohottala – Chairman, BOI, while the keynote was delivered by Prime Minister Rajapaksa.

Keynote address

  • Prime Minister Rajapaksa highlighted that measures are now underway to steer Sri Lanka back towards an economy which records over 6.0% growth compared to the contraction seen in 2020

  • For such a trajectory, the need to attract capital investments to a wider scale will be key

  • Opportunities to commence new industries in the technical zone around the H’tota port, together with pharmaceutical industrial zones around the country are planned

  • PM acknowledged that investments into building infrastructure facilities and increase the production capacity though higher capital expenditure is essential

  • Measures have also been taken to attract a minimum amount of USD 15.0bn in the next 5 years towards the Port City project. The legal and business facilitation framework through the new act is already in place

  • Confident that the turning point for Sri Lanka post-COVID will be witnessed

Port City Colombo – gateway to South Asia

  • Port City, the largest PPP in SL has secured USD 1.1bn investments by China harbor so far

  • The well-connected port network presents opportunities in Shipping and logistics

  • This would also further enhance financial opportunities, especially in offshore banking, private equity, investment banking and capital markets

  • Colombo port city economic commission law is a progressive legislation with a dedicated single window investment facilitator

  • No corporate income tax on foreign earnings and guaranteed income tax exemption for large strategic investments for up to 40 years including waver of upfront broader taxes are positives

  • Investors can establish businesses with 100% foreign ownership, along with relaxed foreign exchange regulations and the ability to repatriate profits and capital with ease

  • Businesses within the zone are permitted to transact in any designated foreign currency other than the LKR

Managing the pandemic – protecting life, livelihoods and macro momentum

  • Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 strategy is operationalised by distancing rules, encouraging best practices, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine processes

  • The vaccination program is being carried out covering the entire island, taking into consideration the spread and prevalence of the virus

  • Through the vaccination drive, it is expected that herd immunity can be achieved within the population by end-2021 to early-2022

  • The pandemic management strategy includes the uninterrupted running of industries where necessary health and safety measures are taken to safeguard employees

  • Sri Lanka is in the process of developing a bio security bubble for tourism, sports and diplomatic visits. The current focus is on extending this to MICE tourism

  • Given Sri Lanka’s geographic location, seaports have remained continuously in operation from the beginning of the pandemic

  • Further, there have been no delays in the country’s major development and infrastructure projects

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