The Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka and the Export Development Board (EDB) met recently to explore areas of cooperation between the two economic agencies such as manufacturing, infrastructure and pharmaceuticals. According to a BOI media release, collaboration between the two agencies is a reflection of the new economic orientation of the government in terms of attraction of investment. Currently, they are working very closely in the management and facilitation of the World Economic Development Forum (WEDF) which will be held in October this year.
Both institutions now come under the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade headed by Minister Malik Samarawickrama and State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. According to the release, a new emphasis has been according to manufacturing by the BOI. In the case of the EDB, manufacturing has always been the main focus, thereby the two agencies will be complementing each other in developing that sector. One aspect of manufacturing discussed was boat and yacht building, an area that offers considerable prospects for future expansion as Sri Lanka already has a dynamic local boatbuilding industry.
At the same time at the World Economic Forum, Sri Lanka will be holding a Boat Show, allowing local companies to showcase their manufacturing capacity to foreign visitors. BOI officials confirmed that they are currently evaluating several project proposals to build marinas on the island. The two agencies also discussed promoting the automobile components manufacturing industry which would supply automobile parts to manufacturers overseas. The other area discussed was the pharmaceutical sector, noting that steps need to be taken to build pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity in the country. -(NG)