BOI reports record FDI inflows in 2004
FDI inflows to Sri Lanka reached new heights in 2004 at US $234 million, up 10.9 percent from figures in 2003, the Board of Investment (BOI) said. "This increase is unprecedented in an election year, during which historically FDI inflows have contracted. Considering the absence of large privatizations, reaching this record investment level in 2004 is a great achievement for Sri Lanka," said Saliya Wickramasuriya, BOI Chairman/Director General in a statement.

The largest single contribution came from Swiss cement manufacturer Holcim, who invested over US$ 50 million in its cement manufacturing facility. Malaysian cellular mobile network MTN came in a close second by committing nearly US$ 40 million to expand its operations, increasing the rate of mobile telecommunication penetration in Sri Lanka. Also significant was the investment of the HSBC with its new Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operations in Sri Lanka.

Other important sectors in which FDI took place were the manufacture of non-metallic minerals, textiles and apparel industries; food beverage and tobacco products; chemical, petroleum and rubber products; manufactured products; fabricated metal products, machinery and transport and wood and paper products.

FDI inflows by country were led by Switzerland, with the UK, Malaysia and India following closely. The services sector recorded the highest percentage (47.7%) of FDI inflows, indicating a continuing trend from manufacturing to more "people-oriented" and knowledge-based industries, the statement added.

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