The President has refused to accept the resignations of the chairman and Board of the BOI. The President has instead indicated that he wishes for them to continue in office, a BOI statement said.
The Board of Investment wishes to announce that His Excellency the President has refused to accept the resignations of the Chairman and Board members of the Board of Investment who tendered in their resignations last week.
In a letter addressed individually to the Chairman and respective Board members, by Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the President, further stated that His Excellency wishes for them to continue services, as he has highest confidence in them, as they contribute effectively to promote foreign investments to the best interest of the country and help the post COVID economic transformation.
As of November 2021, the BOI has signed USD 2bn worth of investment approvals. During the first half of 2021 alone, USD 760mn has been invested in Sri Lanka, of which USD 400mn is FDI, in contrast to pre-pandemic 2019, where 113 new projects were approved and added to the pipeline, to the value of USD 1.1Bn, of which, the foreign component value was USD 400mn. In 2020, despite the pandemic and slow down in investment decisions, 128 projects were approved with a value of USD 2.2Bn, of which, the foreign investment component was USD 1.6Bn. in 2021, 117 new projects were approved to the value of USD 2Bn, of which USD 980mn is the foreign investment component. Through this, the overall investment pipeline has exceeded 2019 values, despite the pandemic continuing through 2020 and 2021. Added to this, the year-to-date export value for BOI companies has also surpassed 2019 pre-pandemic levels.
Earlier a BOI statement said:
Prominent members of the Board of Directors of the Board of Investment have stepped down from their positions.
The Chairman, members of the Board of Directors and Director General assumed office with the singular intent of supporting His Excellency the President’s vision to double Sri Lanka’s GDP in this decade. In line with this, the Board of Investment’s role in transforming the country into a preferred investment destination by creating a compelling investment climate arose through the conceptualisation and execution of strategic and proactive investment promotions.
To achieve this strategic agenda, the cabinet and the leadership team of the Board of Investment recognised that many transformations were required internally to enable the Board of Investment to compete against over 1,000 international promotion agencies active globally. They also recognised that this task could not be achieved in silos, and that collaborative efforts through a public-private partnership model was essential. This included the infusion of specialist skills through the acquisition of new talent for selected positions and also the obtaining of specialist professional services to attract and create new investment portfolios to stimulate the country’s trajectory towards a knowledge driven economy.
Unfortunately, the efforts of the leadership to achieve this urgently required transformation, was strongly and continuously resisted by isolated factions both within and outside the organization, who have put their self-interest over the public. Such factions either failed or refused to comprehend the competitive realities of the international promotion landscape, in which Sri Lanka needs to compete much more effectively, if it is to attract FDI at the scale the country needs.
It is also a matter of regret that the progressive agenda of the leadership has come into question in public fora, also implying mismanagement based on events that occurred during 2017 and 2019, a period prior to the time of the current leadership. The many distortions and misconceptions publicised about the Board of Investment as a result of this confusion, has affected the reputation of the Board of Investment internationally, as well as the reputations of its key personnel.
Despite these unfortunate developments, the leadership of the Board of Investment remain confident about the significant potential their programme of reforms can provide to support Sri Lanka’s economic progress in future, if it is continued to its natural culmination. They are hopeful that all stakeholders will collectively work in that manner necessary for the greater good of Sri Lanka and all its citizens.