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The Board of Investment (BOI) has its origins in the Greater Colombo Economic Commission which was established in 1978. Fourteen years later, in 1992, the Commission was reconstituted as the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.

World Trade Centre (Twin Towers) &
Bank of Ceylon Building of Colombo.

The BOI is structured to function as a central facilitation point for investors. It operates as an autonomous statutory body that is directly responsible to the President of Sri Lanka. It has a Board of Directors drawn from the private and public sectors and is assisted by a Ministerial Committee on Investment Promotion.

Significantly, when you sign an agreement with the BOI, the specific incentives granted to an eligible company - which may include tax holidays or preferential tax rates, exemption from customs duty and foreign exchange controls - remain valid for the life of the enterprise.

The provisions and the spirit of the Agreement cannot be changed by successive governments. This is the fundamental strength of a BOI
agreement which .few other countries can offer or match.

To date, around 1000 companies which have signed Agreements with the BOI are in commercial operation.

The share of industrial exports by enterprises with foreign equity participation which number approximately 600, is 54%.


The principal law applicable to foreign investment is BOI Law No.4 of 1978 and amendments introduced in 1980, 1983 and 1992 and Regulations made under the Act. (See Appendix for details.)

The BOI Act provides for two types of investment approvals:
o Under Section 17 of the Act, the BOI is empowered to grant special concessions to companies satisfying specific eligibility criteria which are designed to meet strategic economic objectives of the government . The mechanism through which such concessions are granted is the Agreement which modifies, exempts and waives identified laws in keeping with the BOI Regulations. These laws include Inland Revenue, Customs, Exchange Control and Import Control.

Approval under Section 16 of the BOI Act permits foreign investment entry to operate only under the 'normal laws' of the country; that is, for such enterprises, the provisions of the Inland Revenue, Customs and Exchange Control Laws shall apply.
For the purpose of granting approvals and incentives, companies incorporated under the Companies Act are treated equally regardless of whether the shareholding is controlled by nationals or non-nationals.

The BOI provides advice and assistance at each stage of the investment process and we can help you in the following ways:
arranging support services such as water, power, waste treatment and telecommunications.

Making recommendations to Immigration Authorities for issuing resident visas.

Facilitating import/export clearance and customs procedure for import of capital goods, raw materials and the export of the final product.

Advising you on environmental norms and facilitating environmental approvals.

Assistance when necessary in the maintenance of good industrial relations and in the formation and operation of Employee Councils.

See page 57 for details on procedures for project approval and implementation.
Providing information and guidance before submission of your project application and co-ordinating approvals from other agencies, if required.

Evaluating applications and providing concessions, where applicable, to your project.

Providing assistance during the start-up of your project: site selection and clearance, advice on factory building and other technical matters.



Receiving and reviewing unsolicited proposals (where possible), presenting such proposals to the relevant government agencies for appropriate action and co-ordinating the implementation of such projects, if acceptable.

Providing specialised consultancy support and the drafting of relevant documentation including Letters of Intent and Implementation Agreements..

Granting of tax and other concessions under the authority of the BOI Law

Marketing infrastructure projects to prospective investors.

The government of Sri Lanka has recently introduced a comprehensive set of procedures and guidelines to be adopted during the implementation of BOO! BOT and similar projects. Currently, several such projects,

where total investment is valued
include: at US$450 million are under

The Bureau of Infrastructure Investment (BII) has been established as a separate division within the Board of Investment to co-ordinate and facilitate private sector investments relating to infrastructure.

These projects are usually privately owned and managed ventures or public-private partnerships whereby the resources, risk and profits connected with the venture are shared. Projects are usually structured on the basis of BuildOwn-Operate (BOO), Build-OwnTransfer (BOT) or Build-OwnOperate-Transfer (BOOT).

The primary functions of BOI include:

Collaborating with relevant construction or in commercial ministries and government agencies operation. to determine infrastructure projects
suitable for implementation by the

Co-ordinating the preparation of project documents with the relevant line ministry or agency, such as feasibility studies, requests for proposals, and joining in the local and foreign issue of such documents.

Negotiating project proposals with investors in collaboration with line (industries) Ministries/Agencies.

Source: Board of Investment (BOI) , Sri Lanka

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