Sri Lanka expects a billion dollars of FDI in 2011

Feb 11, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is expecting more than a billion US dollars in foreign direct investments in 2011 led by a booming leisure sector, after the end of a three decade war made the country more attractive, an official said. “Our expectations (for 2011) are well over a billion (US dollars),” Board of Investment chief Jayampathy Bandaranayake said.

A three decade war ended in 2010 but actual FDI disbursements were ‘very close to’ 2009, he said. In 2009 when the intensity of the conflict reached its height foreign direct investments fell to 384 million dollars.

In the first quarter of 2010 there was a 30 percent drop in FDI due to a series of elections in the island, Bandaranayake said.

The International Monetary Fund earlier forecast at least 725 million US dollars of FDI this year.

On Friday Bandaranayake signed a 150 million US dollar investment agreement with Dialog Axiata which is expected to invest the money in expanding its network over the next two years.

Dialog had become the top foreign investor in the country clocking up a billion US dollars by December 30, and the latest investment will push it to 1.2 billion dollars, officials said.

BOI director Duminda Ariyasinghe said mo