Exclusive: Sri Lanka receives all time high FDIs of US$ 1.85 b in 2018

– Record achieved in just three quarters
– Already surpassed 2017 full-year record
– China easily remains biggest investor

By Charindra Chandrasena

The value of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) received by Sri Lanka during the first three quarters of 2018 has surpassed the FDIs attracted for the whole of 2017, and set a new all time record, The Sunday Morning Business exclusively learns.

According to the Board of Investment (BOI) Sri Lanka data, the country has attracted total FDIs of $ 1.85 billion including foreign loans up to September this year, which is the highest FDI figure in its history, surpassing last year’s total of $ 1.7 billion, the previous highest annual figure.

The highest FDI of over $ 1 billion has come from China while India is a distant second in the list with $ 304.7 million, and Hong Kong in third place with $ 138.2 million. While China has easily retained its position as Sri Lanka’s greatest FDI source, Hong Kong, the second largest investor in 2017, has been overtaken by India, which was third last year.

Malaysia is the fourth largest investor with $ 87.9 million, followed by Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Virgin Islands (British), and Singapore respectively with investments of $ 36 million, $ 34.7 million, $ 28.1 million, $ 27.1 million, $ 20.9 million, $ 19.5 million, and $ 17.65 million.

The highest FDI was received by the infrastructure sector, followed by the services sector and the manufacturing sector.

The infrastructure sector which attracted $ 1 billion in investments in 2017 has been infused with $ 1.46 billion during the first three quarters of 2018 – a growth of 40%. The subsectors under the infrastructure sector – namely port container terminals, housing property development and shop office, telephone and telecommunication network, petroleum and other, and power generation – have attracted $ 849.6 million, $ 333.4 million, $ 275.25 million, $ 2.9 million, and $ 0.005 million respectively in this period.

However, the manufacturing sector has recorded only $ 183.95 million up to September this year, when compared to the manufacturing investments of $ 347.6 million attracted throughout the year 2017.

Subsectors under the manufacturing sector – namely textiles, wearing apparel and leather products, rubber products, other manufactured products, non-metallic mineral products, food, beverages and tobacco, chemical, coal, petroleum, fabricated metal, machinery and transport equipment, wood and wood products, paper products, printing and publishing – have received investments of $ 60 million, $ 35.2 million, $ 26.46 million, $ 19.9 million, $ 17 million, $ 13.5 million, $ 6.9 million, $ 3.9 million, and $ 0.8 million respectively.

The services sector has attracted only $ 210.5 million during the first three quarters of this year, while the overall investments to the services sector were recorded at $ 317.8 million last year.

The subsectors under the services sector – hotels and restaurant, IT and BPO, and other services – have attracted $ 160.3 million, $ 35.5 million, and $ 14.2 million respectively.