Another low-income economy outperforming other players in its region is Sri Lanka, The report said. This assertion was made in a World Bank report entitled Global Investment Promotion Benchmark 2009 together with two of its advisory services, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa commenting on this report said yesterday the WB report was a vote of confidence in Sri Lankas economy and was a definite boost for our chances of receiving an extension of the GSP+ facility by the EU next year. The report categorized Sri Lanka as the only country in South Asia with good economic fundamentals giving it 64% out of a possible 100. The report has graded countries into best practice (81%-100%), good (61%- 80%), average (41% -60%) weak (21%-40%) and very weak (0%-20%).
Even Israel could not better the score of Sri Lanka and had a grading of 61.1%. Even Malaysia, one of Asia s tiger economies and the most powerful economy in the world the US are behind Sri Lanka in the rankings with 62.6% and 61.1% respectively, Minister Yapa pointed out with pride.
Commenting on the performance of South Asia s Investment Promotion Institutes (IPI) the report says that Sri Lanka was the most improved IPI (BOI in Sri Lanka) in South Asia. It has increased its score in 2008 by 29 points mainly due to an improved website that offers detailed, reliable, and current data to investors. Among the worlds IPIs only 9 countries-all of them European- have achieved the best practice category while 33 countries including Belgium, UK, Ireland, Norway, Austria, USA, Spain, Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka come under the good category.
The report examines the ability of 181 countries to influence foreign investors in their site selection process and 139 countries out of 180 are either average weak or very weak in this exercise.
This is a very positive report on Sri Lankas investment and financial management by independent and highly professional international monitory agencies. This is a boost to the confidence investors and lending agencies have in Sri Lanka. I have no doubt that the EU will see this report as a benchmark when it considers the renewal of the GSP+ facility to our country for the coming year, Minister Yapa emphasized.