Investors from China have requested for land from the Southern Province to commence many business ventures which has the potential to generate a million of jobs, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema said.
“The Chinese have requested 15,000 acres from the Hambantota district to commence different industries. “That itself will create one million jobs,” he said.
The Minister said they will also be inviting Indian investors to set up pharmaceuticals and auto spare manufacturing plants in Sri Lanka with room to re export. “We are also looking at giving them special industrial zones to re-export their goods back to India, China or any other country. In the technology side we want to upgrade our skills,” he said.
Samarawickrema said in addition to the South they were also looking at Trincomalee, Kandy and Wayamba and the two zones in Mirigama and Horana. “We are also having discussions with the Japanese delegation and they are looking at it very positively, he added.
The Minister said that they have discussed during the last 7 to 8 months with all trade chambers and professionals details about the FTA’s in a very transparent manner.
Agency for International Trade Advisor K. J. Weerasinghe said apparel imports are tipped to receive a US$ 450 to 500 million boost after regaining the EU GSP+. He said to achieve development goals the government needs to target much more that the US$11 billion export earnings.
The government has indulged in talks with trade bodies and stakeholders in a very transparent manner with regard to the pending FTA’s with China, India and Singapore, Weerasinghe added.