The government plans to attract US$ 2.5 billion FDI in 2018 through foreign investment projects.
Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama disclosed these facts addressing the gathering during the agreement signing ceremony between the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic on mutual cooperation held in Colombo yesterday.
The program will especially bring in new investors in sectors such as export-oriented manufacturing and services which will generate much needed employment opportunities in the country as well,” he added.
He further said that forex earnings will be increased by investing heavily on sectors like IT, wellness tourism, processed food and component manufacturing as recommended by the national export strategy. The agreement will consist of areas including enhance bilateral trade and economic relations, facilitate growth of bilateral investment and identify economic and investment opportunities in both countries. It has also aimed at promoting closer trade and industrial cooperation and facilitates networking activities between entrepreneurial entities of both countries.
Minister Samarawickrama further said that there is a growth in exports from Sri Lanka to Czech Republic since the last decade. It amount to around US$ 55 million with a positive trade balance in 2017.
“Our exports to Czech Republic have been mainly confined in the sectors of rubber and rubber based products, tea, coconut and coconut based products and apparel.
Since Czech Republic is a fast growing economy in the European Union, its potentials to become an important destination for our exports and the prospective benefits through an effective cooperation on investment towards our industrial development were especially taken into consideration before signing the agreement.
“To strengthen the cooperation in the economic sphere for mutual benefit, we welcome the signing of the agreement on mutual cooperation which would provide a platform to embark on an effective dialogue which leads to formulate and implement a sound framework of economic engagement through establishment of a joint committee to promote bilateral trade, investment and economic relations. In formulating the actions framework under this agreement, special emphasis is to be given to encourage investment cooperation in economic sectors through non-traditional financial instruments.
The Minister further said Sri Lanka has potentials to widen the exports of value added tea to Czech Republic. Since the Czech Republic has a developed automobile industry, Sri Lanka can explore the market opportunity in Czech Republic for the rubber finished products like tyres and other automobile parts. Sri Lanka also has a potential to export to Czech Republic in the other sectors like electronic and electrical, chemical products processed foods and seafood.