- Published on Friday, 01 February 2013 13:28
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It has been targeted to get more than 2 Billion U.S.Dollar foreign investments to Sri Lanka this year and to remove all obstacles that could hinder foreign investments.
This was stated by the Minister of Investment Promotion Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene addressing the media after assuming duties at his new Ministry Thursday (31) afternoon
The Minister said that more attention will be focused this year to get investments in four sectors and outlined that these sectors as tourism, education, industrial development and the service sectors.
The Minister said that since President Mahinda Rajapaksa became the President of this country infrastructure facilities have been developed in all sectors, and we have the necessary expressways and highways, two harbours, two air ports and all other facilities required by the foreign investors.
Minister Yapa explaining further about his future plans said that so far we have not tapped investment for the education sector and 12,000 students go out of Sri Lanka annually for education in overseas countries and this drains over 400 Million U.S.Dollars from the country. He said that steps will be taken to attract foreign investment in the education sector and make the students to pursue their education in foreign Universities and Educational Institutions in Sri Lanka itself and also curtail the foreign exchange outflow. He said that 95% of Pakistani students applying for studies in Britain is rejected by the British authorities and if we create the necessary educational infrastructure available in the country a major portion of these students could be attracted to the country.
The Minister said that at present there are several thousand vacancies in the Free Trade and Industrial Zones and steps will also be taken to revive and develop the manufacturing units in the Zones. He said that there are 12 Industrial Zones and 8 Free Trade Zones in the country and another Free Trade Zone will be established in Suriyawewa in Hambantota.
He further said that he has rendered his maximum possible service in whatever the portfolios handed over to him in the past and assured that he would dedicate himself to render his maximum service in the new Ministry to safeguard the trust reposed in him by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and also thanked Minister Basil Rajapaksa for the assistance and encouragement given to him under his previous portfolio as the Deputy Minister of Economic Development. He also thanked the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and the Chief of the presidential staff Gamini Senarath for obliging his request and providing M.M.C.Ferdinando, who is a very talented and experienced person, as the Secretary of his Ministry..
The Minister also said that he is also fortunate to have an able President’s Council Faisar Mustapha as his Deputy Minister. (niz) .