Honouring the importance of foreign investments within the fast developing nation, the Board of Investment (BOI) Sri Lanka launched the SWIFT web portal, bringing together the first six, line agencies, under one virtual platform, thus, fast tracking the investor approval process.
SWIFT Stands for Single Window Investment Facilitation Taskforce
Sri Lanka?s core investment authority, for promoting and expediting both foreign and local investor procedures within key economic sectors of the island, the BOI, signed the six, Memoranda of Understanding (MoU?s) with primary agencies; the Registrar of Companies, the Inland Revenue Department, Urban Development Authority, Sri Lanka Customs, Colombo Municipal Council and the Central Environment Authority.
Plans are underway to sign Mou?s with a further 19 line agencies, responsible for offering a majority of approvals for foreign investor projects. This one window platform was well received amongst foreign companies looking at investing within the island nation.
Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrema, who proudly launched the project in May 2018, claimed the economic agenda setup by the government was well appreciated amongst local and foreign investors, citing as example, both on-going investor projects and those awaiting approval.
In the first quarter of 2018 alone the BOI has granted approval to projects amounting to $1.348 billion, with a further $1.4 billion-plus worth of projects to pending approval at the launch of SWIFT. With plans to surpass set FDI targets, which indexed the highest growth in 2017, the government is extending more than a helping hand to foreign investors looking at profitable investments within the country. Minister Samarawickrema stated the importance of ?looking after? investors as a primary factor in reducing the heavy debts the country incurred in the past.
Special mention was made of the immense support and assistance extended to the country by both the World Bank and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DAFT). DAFT counsellor Victoria Coakley, present at the launch, commended the government?s investor initiatives, stating the open trade policies and extreme economic reforms, her government introduced to the Australian economy were responsible for a substantial growth in the country?s wealth.
The 25 Line Agencies to Come Under SWIFT
- Department of Inland Revenue – IRD
- Department of Registrar of Companies – ROC
- Central Environment Authority ? CEA
- Colombo Municipal Council ? CMC
- Urban Development Authority ? UDA
- Sri Lanka Customs – SLC
- Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority – SLTDA
- Geological Survey and Mines Bureau
- Immigration and Emigration Department
- Municipal Council/Local Authorities
- Coast Conservation Department – CCD
- Disaster Management Centre ? DMC
- Agriculture Ministry
- Mahaweli Development Authority of Sri Lanka
- Land Commissioners General?s Department
- Department of Forest Conservation
- Ceylon Electricity Board
- National Water Supply and Drainage Board
- Finance Ministry
- Defence Ministry
- Attorney General?s Department
- Import and Export Control Department
- National Dangerous Drug Control Board
- Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation
- Wildlife Conservation Department