Friday, 18 October 2019 06:10

SL likely to miss $ 3 b FDI target for 2019

Sri Lanka is likely to miss its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) target of $ 3 billion this year, a top official said yesterday.

Sources close to Board of Investment expressed the view that 2019’s FDI numbers would be similar to what was seen last year.

“FDI would be more in line with what was achieved last year, if there are no more hiccups towards the end of the year. We are definitely not going to achieve the $ 3 billion FDI target originally set,” he told the Daily FT.

Sri Lanka last year too missed its FDI target by nearly $ 460,000. However, FDIs to the country increased by 11.8% to $ 2.1 billion last year, compared to $ 1.19 billion a year earlier.

He said, considering the status of FDI inflow, it was unlikely that the figure would move beyond $ 1.5 to $ 2 billion.

According to him, FDI inflow to the economy started slowing down following the constitutional crisis in October last year.

“FDIs are planned investment. The momentum of investor confidence was affected as a result of the political instability the country experienced towards the latter part of 2018,” he added.

Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama also told Parliament in May this year, the target of $ 3 billion FDI for 2019 would not be met as investor confidence took a hit after the Easter Sunday attacks and the subsequent anti-Muslim violence.

FDIs into Sri Lanka during the first eight months declined by 65% to $ 501 million from $ 1.42 billion, according to the latest data released by the Central Bank.

Last year, FDI inflows were channelled largely to projects related to ports, telecommunications, housing and property development and hotels, while investments to the manufacturing sector remained moderate.

(FT)

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