A delegation from the Thai Fiscal Policy Research Institute visited the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka on a fact finding mission to understand better Sri Lanka’s business and investment climate.
The delegation was met by a team consisting of Senior BOI officials who briefed the Thai visitors on various important matters relating to investment and also about Sri Lanka’s business climate.
The Thai Fiscal Policy Research Institute is a think tank that advises the Thai Cabinet of Ministers. The delegation was led by Mr. Pisesporn Wasawong and Mr. Jittima Nakamano – Consul (Commercial) and Director of Thai Trade Center included in the delegation were two officials of the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand.
The BOI was represented by Ms. Nilupul De Silva - Director (Promotion), Mr. Dilip S Samarasinghe - Director (Media & Publicity), Mr. Vidharshan Fernando - Acting Executive Director (Special Projects), Mr. Udaya Wijayakulathilaka - Director (Investment Appraisal), Mr. Manilal Ranasinghe - Deputy Director (Promotion) and Ms. Asoka Jayakody - Senior Deputy Director (Research & Policy Advocacy).
The Sri Lankan side replying to their visitors questions, stated that Sri Lanka has constitutional mechanisms to protect foreign investments; national treatment or the equal protection for locals and foreigners under the law is also provided for foreign investors; foreign enterprises are permitted to repatriate profits; Sri Lanka also allow full foreign ownership of investments in the country.
The Thai visitors were also briefed on the role of the BOI in facilitating investments and also the service it offers in recommending visas for key foreign nationals engaged in a BOI enterprise.
The Thai delegation was interested in the situation in Sri Lanka with regards to specific industries where Thailand had made considerable inroads in the last few decades. These sectors include the manufacture of jewellery for export, the food processing industry and the manufacture of automobile parts.
The delegation was studying the economic implication of a possible Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Thailand in the future and more specifically the economic benefits which would accrue to both countries in the event of such an agreement being established.
The delegation also keen to evaluate Sri Lanka’s infrastructure especially BOI’s Export Processing Zones and also to visit the Southern City of Hambantota.
In that connection BOI made arrangements for the delegation to travel and gain first hand impression of the current status of the BOI’s zonal infrastructure.
In addition the Thai delegation also expressed interest in the development taking place in Colombo and also development plans related to the Western Megapolis project.
The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for Sri Lankan and Thai officials to express ideas and share information on best practices in both countries.