Sri Lanka Achieves Highest Ever FDI in 2017 ? Tourism and Travel Sector a Top Contributor

Sri Lanka Achieves Highest Ever FDI in 2017

The Board of Investment Sri Lanka ? BOI proudly announced the highest ever growth in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for 2017.

Sri Lanka FDI soared to a record high of 1.63 billion dollars in 2017, compared to 802 million dollars in 2016.

Last year?s (2017) growth of 1.63 billion dollars exceeded the 1.61 billion dollars achieved in 2014, which was attributed to a substantial growth in key sectors. This progression is credited to the government?s reformed economic policies, favouring exports and foreign investments, over a ?debt-financed? spend on public infrastructure projects.

Key Sectors to Show a Significant Growth

  • Export oriented manufacturing sectors showed a +27% growth
  • Services including IT and Tourism indexed a growth of +50%
  • Infrastructure showed an impressive +190% growth

Across these sectors, the highest FDI was from China, with Hong Kong, Singapore and India responsible for at contribution.

Travel and Tourism Sector Make Significant Contributions

The tourism sector had been identified as a core-development area in post-conflict (civil war) development projects since 2009 and the highest number of tourist arrivals, since the civil war ended, was recorded in 2017.

The tourism sector which was badly hit as a direct result of the civil war, experienced a sharp rise in tourist arrivals over the past couple of years, since the 30 year long conflict came to an end and 2017 which was kind to Sri Lanka in terms of foreign investments, hit a welcome high of foreign arrivals. The trend saw the tourism sector contribute US$ 4.4 billion, in 2016 alone towards the country?s GDP, amounting to 5.1% of total.

In 2017 the direct contribution the travel and tourism sector made towards the GDP, although not a sharp rise, was US$ 4.467.7 million contributing a 5.3% to the overall growth. The government is however on a fast-track project to increase foreign investor earning via the travel and tourism sector. A progression of 5.1% by end of 2018 is predicted, as per World Travel and Tourism Council reports 2018.

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Lucrative Plans for the Future

The government has a set goal of achieving an FDI of US$ 2.5 billion in 2018, and as per Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrema, the country aims to increase Foreign Exchange Earnings (Forex) through the development of key sectors such as wellness tourism, IT, component manufacture and processed food.

Key Resort Areas Identified for Development of Tourism Sector

The building blocks for economic growth in the tourism sector are been developed, and further to welcoming international hotel brands such as RIU from Spain, Minor Group from Thailand, Shangri La from Hong Kong/Singapore, Mustafa Group from Singapore, Movenpick Hotels and Resorts etc. the government has identified core areas within the island for travel and tourism development.

Thus, coming under the government?s plan for promoting identified key areas for resort and hotel development projects are; Passikudah on the east coast, Kuchchaveli located in Trincomalee on the north-east coast, Dedduwa located close to the River Madu in Bentota on the south coast and Kalpitiya on the north-west coast which consists of 14 different islands where tourism is already booming with lures of kit-surfing and whale watching.


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