Foreign investorsA New Zealand business delegation that arrived in Colombo yesterday was wooed to capitalize on the country's new and 'much more lenient' Foreign Exchange Management Act that favours foreign investors as never before, in the country's fiscal regulatory history.


Rajendra Theagarajah, chairman of the Ceylon Chamber speaking to the New Zealand business delegation at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo said, "The concept of foreign exchange control has now disappeared from our dialogue. That five-decades old Act has been repealed and has been replaced by a much more investor-friendly Foreign Exchange Management Act. In broader implications, it allows you to invest your money in your chosen ventures, make gains and take your profit away as and when you wish, without having to obtain any formal, regulatory approval from the authorities".


"And with major policy changes already enacted through several pieces of legislation over the past 12 months, you can rest assured that the annual budget presentation will mostly be a policy statement rather than anything else; meaning you will have the advantage of predictability on your investments in the long term", he noted.


The delegation comprising 20 delegates representing 13 New Zealand companies, was led by Ralph Hays, New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Sri Lanka.


Minister John Amaratunga delivering the keynote said, " In 2016, New Zealand exports to Sri Lanka was worth US$ 254 million as against Sri Lanka's export volume of only US$ 55 million which is a 'terrible' imbalance. Tourism receipts from New Zealand have the potential to ease this trade imbalance. So, I earnestly request that you promote Sri Lanka not only for tourism but investment as well. With Sri Lanka entering into Free Trade Agreements with countries such as India and Singapore, New Zealand companies have the opportunity of using Sri Lanka as a manufacturing and trading base to access the vast regional market".


Two-way trade between New Zealand and Sri Lanka has grown by 31 % over the past three years, and is now worth NZD367 million (41.3 billion LKR).


Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Exchange Act No 12 of 2017 came into effect from November 2017.



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