Middle East investments in Sri Lanka to grow

Several Middle –East companies are willing to invest in Sri Lanka due to the country’s on going development activities. Stating this, Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion, Faizer Musthapha said that Middle East is interested in investing in several sectors including hotel, construction and IT.
“The Ambassadors of the Middle Eastern counties have offered to assist the Ministry of Investment Promotions to identify potential areas to attract foreign direct investments for their respective countries, which is a good move for the country,” Mustapha told the media when he met and held a discussion on foreign direct interments from the Middle East.

He said that Middle East is interested in several sectors including hotel, construction IT and several other areas to invest in Sri Lanka and meeting included all major stake holders such as the ambassadors of United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Egypt Palestine, Oman Kuwait and Jordan.

Middle East investment in Sri Lanka totalled US$ 121.3 million in 2013 which represents nearly 10 percent of the country’s FDIs and will likely to increase this amount this year with the high interest sentiment among
Middle Eastern investors, Musthapha said.

The total cumulative Middle East Investment is estimated to be around US$ 543.7 million, he said.

He said that state agencies including Sri Lanka Development Board, Sri Lanka Tea Board and Coconut Development Authority participated apart from representatives of leading business chambers. Minister Musthapha said the BOI is confident that in future there will be more investments from Middle East in view of the interest expressed by various parties in the countries of the Middle East.

At present Middle East investments are very diverse and include cellular mobile telephone manufacture products food processing boat building, IT tourism, Shipping and logistics.

Sri Lanka being in the main shipping route have encouraged to invest in Sri Lanka due to the easy access to India, China and other countries. Further, major investment promotion will likely to organise in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the end of the year.

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