BOI seeks foreign investors for the East
Only local investors have come forth with investment proposals to develop the Eastern Province by last Monday but the Board of Investment (BOI) said it is confident that there will be foreign investors in the future.
“So far we have only got local investors, but we hope to attract foreign investment as well,” Dhammika Perera, Chairman BOI told The Sunday Times FT. The BOI called a meeting of investors on Monday to discuss investing in the East under a mega government plan after security forces cleared the region of the LTTE.
The BOI will also provide more concessions for investors who are willing to invest in the East, according to BOI officials. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion told the meeting that the country will achieve double digit growth if the east is developed. “The Trincomalee Development Zone is another project the BOI is looking at,” he said adding that the investment can go to Gal Oya , Welikanda, Samanthurai and Trincomalee.
Perera said the BOI is gearing to start developing the East ‘immediately’, according to Perera. “Twenty Five Thousand acres of land in Kantale has been pledged to different investors and 1100 farmers will get 2.5 acres of land,” he said.
There were over 15 investors who discussed various projects from apparel, dairy farming, eco development and palm oil. Kumar Devapura, the owner of Tri Star apparels, has already announced that he would be starting five factories in Thampalagamuwa, Welikanda, Trincomalee, Samanthurai and Ohane creating 5000 job opportunities. There is also a proposal to develop palm oil in Kantale and also to grow margin, a BOI official said.