The income from the approved projects is estimated to be 96.3 billion rupees (about US$ 739 million) of which 49 billion rupees are from foreign investments and the rest is from domestic investments.
Sri Lanka has been encouraging local and foreign investors to take maximum use of the peaceful environment in the country after the end of the civil conflict and concessions given by the government for investments.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who recently met with the Thai businessmen in Bangkok, has told the potential investors that the BOI is committed to support foreign investors in starting business ventures in the country and there is a very conducive environment in Sri Lanka for investments briefing them on the concessions and other facilities given to foreign investors by the government.
According to the Economic Development Ministry, in the first quarter of 2012 the BOI received 72 new applications compared to the 28 received in the corresponding period of the previous year. There were also 5 applications for expansions of existing projects.
The Ministry says the approved projects would create 9,500 new employment opportunities.
The BOI, structured to function as a central facilitation point for investors, has signed 40 project agreements including 33 new enterprises and 7 project expansions in the first quarter of 2012. In the corresponding period of last year the agency signed 32 agreements.
During the review period 23 new projects have been implemented with an estimated income of 75 billion rupees and creating 2,946 employment opportunities, the Ministry said.
According to the Ministry 18 enterprises commenced commercial operation in the first three months of this year generating 7.2 billion rupees compared to 3.1 billion rupees in the first quarter of 2011. These enterprises are expected to create over 5,000 employment opportunities.
The total exports from the enterprises under BOI during the first quarter of 2012 amounted to 193 billion rupees, a 7% increase over the corresponding period in 2011 while the total imports of BOI companies amounted to 131 billion rupees, a 22% increase compared to the previous year.