The Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association (FTZMA) has urged the government to extend the import licence for electric vehicles for foreign investors registered with the Board of Investment in order to increase “quality FDI.”
The FTZMA proposed in a letter to BOI Director-General Renuka Weerakone that the government extend a similar benefit to foreign investors operating under the purview of BOI to import electric vehicles, which would be of additional benefit to them in attracting more FDIs and remaining resilient during the ongoing economic crisis.
“We believe that foreign investors who bring FDIs into the country are equally contributing to the economy because they foster and maintain economic growth by not only creating job opportunities to alleviate unemployment in the country but also bringing in much needed foreign exchange,” FTZMA stated.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved a permission to import an electric vehicle worth 50% of remittances from Sri Lankan expats in August. The government’s goal is to increase foreign exchange inflows through the banking system in order to alleviate the acute shortage of foreign currency.
It is one of the incentive schemes developed by the government to recognise their contribution to the national economy and to alleviate the current FX scarcity in the country.
Noting that the BOI initiated the duty-free import of vehicles as an exclusive part of the incentive package for FDIs, the FTZMA said that foreign investors were later withdrawn and replaced with politicians and other State sector officers.
“We believe that this proposal is worthy of further discussion with relevant policymakers in the Government because we believe that BOI would benefit from using this as one of the incentives to attract ‘quality FDIs’ that can boost the country’s economy and increase competitiveness against other rival investment destinations,” FTZMA added.