- Published on Thursday, 22 March 2012 15:20
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Despite negative predictions made by “Doomsday Pundits” in the Opposition saying that the economy will collapse and several thousands in the private sector will face retrenchment, Sri Lanka’s direct foreign investments doubled last year and employment in the apparel sector alone increased by 24,826.
This was disclosed by the Acting Minister of Mass Media & Information and Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene at the Cabinet Decisions announcement Media Conference held at the Information Department this morning.
The Acting Minister said that direct foreign investment increased from 516 Million US$ in 2010 to 1,066 Million US$ last year. Giving a breakdown of these investments the Minister said that 253 Million US$ investments came from Mauritius followed by 147 US$ from India and 139 US$ from Hong Kong. Investments from other countries were as follows: Malyasia US$ 90M, British Virginia Islands US$ 54M, Singapore US$ 53M, United Arab Emirates US$ 53M, England US$ 52M, Netherlands US$ 51M, Japan US$ 27M, Luxumburg US$ 26M, Switzerland US$ 21M, Belgium US$ 16M, America US$ 12M, China US$ 10M and other countries US$ 63M. He said that these amounts relate to agreements signed with the Board of Investments relating to projects of over 3 M. US$ and projects worth less than 3 M US$ have not been included in this calculation
Speaking further the Minister said that employment in the Investment Zones increased by 5.8 % last year compared to the figures of 2010. 426,084 persons were employed in the investment zones in the year 2010 and this number was increased to 450,913 in the year 2011 and this included persons re-employed by new companies.
Referring to the export income the Minister said that export income had increased by 27% last year and it had increased from 5,175 M US$ in the year 2010 to 6,571 M US$ last year. He said that textile wear, apparel and leather covered 67 percent of the exports and chemicals, petroleum, coal rubber and plastic products covered 20 percent of the exports. Services amounted to 75% while Food, beverages and tobacco accounted for the balance 6%. (niz+)