State Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe, at the recently held Investor Forum met with 11 existing investors to address issues and bottlenecks they faced when starting new projects or expanding existing investments under the BOI.
Minister Senasinghe stated that the purpose of this Investor Forum was to ensure that approvals take place in the shortest possible time. He added that there are instances where it may take 3 to 4 years for projects to be resolved because additional approvals of other institutions and line agencies are required.
According to him, the Government was taking proactive steps to address in the long term the bottlenecks faced by investors by setting up two new Agencies namely the Agency for Development and the Agency for International Trade, which are to be established shortly. The Minister also said that ideally the timeframe for approval of projects should be about two months completed.
The forum sought to resolve the issues faced by 11 enterprises. However, in more complex cases the ministry has set up a higher committee consisting of Senior Officials of the Ministries and the BOI. Beyond that projects could also be examined by the Cabinet. Hence, a comprehensive mechanism is now in place to address the issue of investments in Sri Lanka.
Assisting the State Minister were the Secretary to the Ministry Mrs. Chandani Wijewardana, Chairman of the BOI Upul Jayasuriya, Senior Officials of the Ministry, the BOI and other State agencies involved in the approval of investment projects.