Sri Lanka’s US$ 5 bn investment pipeline held up due to red tape

August 14 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is sitting on a 5 billion dollar investment pipeline for development projects, held up due to red tape and other delays, the country’s Treasury Secretary said Monday.

Sri Lanka is also in talks with lending agencies to promote investment guarantees to encourage companies to spend their dollars in local infrastructure projects.

An upsurge in violence in the country however, with an attack on Thursday on Pakistan’s ambassador in Sri Lanka by suspected tiger rebels, is expected to dampen investor enthusiasm.

The government however says it is still expecting a minimum of 750 million dollars up to one billion dollars this year in foreign direct investment.

The funds have largely been committed by donors the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Japan Bank for International Co-operation, among other lenders.

We have five billion dollars in the investment pipeline – these are all signed, contractual documents for which we are paying commitment fees, Dr. P B Jayasundera told a workshop on public-private partnerships for infrastructure.

This is being held back by unnecessary procurement processes and rigidity in government ins