Nov 20, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government will make an international financial centre in Colombo, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said while delivering the budget 2016 speech.
A “Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC)”, a specific zone along the lines of Dubai’s International Financial Centre will begin operations on DR Wijewardene Mawatha, he said.
“Our geographical location in the SAARC region which is home to almost one fourth of the world population certainly provide us with the scope and scale such ventures require. Financial centres have the capacity to provide the impetus to enhanced growth in economies,” he said.
“Such endeavors certainly require an investment on our part which include special physical and digital infrastructure, human capital, regulatory and the legal infrastructure,” he said.
Karunanayake said the zone will cover a demarcated area in DR Wijewardena Mawatha, where a 300,000 square feet facility will be constructed. The proposed financial center will have its own commercial court for resolution of commercial disputes in line with the financial centre regulatory requirements.
“The Casino center of the previous administration will be converted into this center inline with the financial center of Dubai.”
Karunanayake also said that a new an exchange management act will be brought in to replace the existing draconian exchange control law.
Foreign investors will be allowed to bring funds to any bank, he added.
“Unless the proceeds were from illegal acts, no one will be prosecuted for bringing these funds.”