Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Tuesday that his government aims to attract 15 billion US dollars to Colombo Port City project in the next five years.
Speaking on the second day of the Sri Lanka Investment Forum (SLIF), the prime minister said "We have already established the legal and business facilitation framework through a new act... Investors will be able to obtain all the services from one counter."
The SLIF is a three-day virtual event organized by Sri Lanka's Board of Investment, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and the Colombo Stock Exchange to attract high-quality investors from around the world. The event showcases investment opportunities in the country and provides investors with an opportunity to network with local policymakers and businessmen.
The Port City Colombo is a joint venture between Sri Lanka and China to develop a service-oriented Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 269 hectares of land reclaimed from the ocean and annexed to the city of Colombo.
The prime minister said that businesses in the country endured hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which resulted in a 3.6-percent contraction of gross domestic product (GDP), adding that there was a need to turn the country into an active worksite again,and to attract investments to develop infrastructure and increase the production capacity of the country.
He called for wider capital investments to help the country achieve a growth rate of 6 percent, saying that the country's macroeconomic framework and SEZs such as the industrial zone in Hambantota and the services-oriented Colombo Port City provide ample opportunities for investors.
The prime minister said that his government had initiated ambitious infrastructure projects to ensure access to water for all, and to build 100,000 km of roads. Tax breaks and financial and non-financial incentives proposed in the last Budget are being implemented to create a conducive environment for investment.
"Our expectation is to encourage world-renowned investors to come to invest in our country," Rajapaksa said.