July 31, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has declared two seaports as ‘free ports’ and an airport and two export processing zones as bonded areas, for entrepot trade and off-shore business. Colombo and Hambantota ports have been declared as free ports. Export processing zones in Katunayake by the main international airport and Koggala and the second international
airport in Mattala has been declared as bonded areas, the finance ministry said.
Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the free ports will help boost investments and maintain high economic growth.
Businesses in entrepot trade involving import minor processing for re-export, off-shore business where goods bought from one country can be shipped to another without bringing them into country can benefit from the free zones.
“These regulations are expected to bring revolutionary changes to the trade and investment policies of the country,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
Due to state regulations and controls, or taxes charged by rulers it is not possible for citizens in many countries to engage in such businesses profitably, unless the rules are relaxed to enhance their liberties.