Government has targeted a record
$1 billion worth of foreign direct investments this year,
targeting inflows in mainly the power, telecommunications and
information technology sectors, the chairman of the government’s
investment arm said yesterday.
"We have raised minimum investment levels in order to attract
bigger investors and boost total investments," Lakshman Watawala
of the Board of Investment in Sri Lanka said at a news
Last year, the country attracted foreign investments worth
To help meet this year’s FDI target, the minimum investment
for any company has been hiked to $250,000 from $50,000,
effective immediately, Watawala said.
The single biggest investment slated for this year is a coal
power project worth $400 million-$450 million from National
Power Thermal Corp. of India, he said.
"We have identified a location in (eastern) Trincomalee for
this project. We expect details to be finalized by end-March,"
The government has also approved a proposal to develop hydro
power projects on a joint venture basis between the state and
the private sector.
In the telecommunications sector, Watawala said Telekom
Malaysia Bhd. (4863.KU) has pledged a $150 million investment
this year to upgrade infrastructure and fund a network expansion
in its mobile telephone subsidiary in Sri Lanka. Telekom
Malaysia owns 84% of Dialog Telekom (DIAL.SL), the largest
listed company on the Colombo bourse.
Sri Lankan internet services and software development company
Virtusa Ltd. will invest $20 million to build an IT campus to
develop and export software, said Watawala. The campus is
expected to offer employment to around 3,000 IT engineers. The
company, which is headquartered in the U.S., offers internet
services and solutions primarily for U.S. customers.
– Dow Jones