India tops investments in Sri Lanka
The inflow of Indian investments to Sri Lanka has risen in the recent past in the fields of steel, rubber, cement, power and energy, oil exploration, production, telecom, real estate, tourism, computer software, IT training and other professional services.
Accordingly, over 50 per cent of Indian investment in SAARC countries is located in Sri Lanka. Of these joint ventures, 54% are with Sri Lankan companies and located in Sri Lanka.
The Board of Investment has granted approval for nine Indian projects with an estimated investment of US$ 168 million in 2011, according to a recently published Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) report. At least eight of these have begun commercial operations.
In 2010, 15 projects with US$ 72 million have received BOI approval. Sri Lankan scores highly on investor protection cross border trading and entrepreneurship and is ranked higher than India in overall ease of doing business.
According to the PWC research, total investment of US$ 142.7 billion targeted during 2011-2016 for US$ 98 billion GDP by 2016.
In addition the local tourism industry needs to diversify into various sub sectors such as eco, adventure, health tourism to lure spending and investments while focusing on new markets USA, Middle East and Australia to spur new tourists.
The average spending per tourist is targeted to be US$ 200 by 2020 and tourist arrivals are likely to rise to four million per year by 2020.
Investments in road development increased by 0.8% in 2005 to 2% in 2010 and road sector development included high speed corridors, toll expressways, rural-urban linkages through provincial roads, dedicated funds for sustainable road maintenance and development of the local road construction industry.
Around US$ 1.76 billion private investments are envisioned during 2011 to 2020 to develop the road network in Sri Lanka.