Adding to the wave of potential investor interest in Sri Lanka since the restoration of its GSP+ facility, a delegation from Osnabruck University of Applied Sciences visited the BOI to study Sri Lanka’s investment climate and opportunities for investment, stated a press release.
The delegation was led by Hochschule Osnabruck University of Applied Sciences Lecturer in Taxes and Private Law Professor Dr. Oliver Tillman, who visited the BOI with a team of 16 students from a variety of disciplines, added the release.
The university team was briefed by BOI Media & Publicity Director Dilip S. Samarasinghe, assisted by other officers of the Board.
Osnabruck University of Applied Sciences is a university in Lower Saxony, Germany, located in the city of Osnabruck. Opened in 1971, it has a student body of 13,552 and an academic staff of 300.
The university team was visiting Sri Lanka on a week-long study tour and prior to their briefing at the Board, had visited the German BOI enterprise, Kramski Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, at the BOI’s Katunayake Export Processing Zone. This enterprise is engaged in the manufacture of steel and high precision moulds.
The university delegations visit to Sri Lanka and to the BOI is a reflection of the growing interest on the part of visitors from the EU to the BOI since the restoration of the GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka. GSP+ will emerge as a major incentive to investors, since it offers duty-free access to Sri Lankan-made products entering the EU market, with a 100% duty waiver.
Germany is Sri Lanka’s second-largest investor from the EU and many of the German companies operating in Sri Lanka are global leaders in their field of specialization and investment. German companies had invested an estimated US$ 98 million from 2005-2016. Their investments represent projects in steel and high precision moulds, windsurfing sails, chemicals, foundation garments, knitwear, tools, garments, electronic items, rubber-based products, coir products, toys, gems & jewellery and tourism.
Sri Lanka is keen to attract German investments and is targeting areas such as IT and IT-enabled services, research & development, textile and apparel, higher education skills development, agriculture and food processing, tourism, infrastructure and automotive components.
One potential attraction for German enterprises is the growing market access that Sri Lanka enjoys through Free Trade Agreements. These include the Indo-Lanka FTA, which opens up the Indian market potential of over 1 billion to investors in Sri Lanka.
The Pakistan-Sri Lanka FTA provides access to the Pakistani market of more than 160 million consumers, while the future FTA with China will open up China’s market of 1.4 billion consumers to potential investors in the future. In addition, Sri Lanka enjoys the GSP+ facility which opens up the EU’s market of 510 million consumers.
German companies may find Sri Lanka an attractive investment destination due to the lower costs it offers, while German companies already investing in Asia may decide to invest in Sri Lanka to strengthen their presence in the region. The availability of some raw materials in Sri Lanka could also be a deciding factor in influencing German companies to opt for future investment.
Dr. Tillman expressed his positive experience of Sri Lanka during the study tour, stating that the country showed much promise for a bright economic future, concluded the release