Agency for Development

The overarching objective of this sunset agency is to fast-track, streamline and attract Foreign Direct Investments. The proposed Development Special Provisions Bill will provide the legal provisions to set up this agency. Eng. MangalaYapa is designated as the Managing Director for the AfD.

 

Contact:

Managing Director

Level 6, West Tower,

World Trade Centre,

Colombo 1,

Sri Lanka.

T : +94 112 302 0351

Agency for International Trade

Sri Lanka is ambitiously partnering with expanding global economies through bilateral, multilateral and regional trade agreements for boosting annual exports, improving export competitiveness and increasing share in international trade. In the said context, the Agency for International Trade (AfIT) has been formulated, as proposed by the ‘Budget speech 2016’ which was passed by the Parliament on December 2015, to strengthen international trade policy framework. Members including the Managing Director (Designate) were appointed to the AfIT representing public and private sector including academia, ministries/departments and other government agencies.

The Agency would be the focal point for formulation, implementation and coordination of international trade policies and be vested with responsibilities of promoting and developing international trade, developing the Megapolis as the trade, business, financial and logistic hub of the Indian ocean and creating a business and regulatory environment in Sri Lanka to facilitate development trade.

As the Apex body, the AfIT would also recommend on import policies of the government to facilitate Trade Development as well as measures for resolving intellectual property issues arising in the course of trade between Sri Lanka and other countries.

Japan–Sri Lanka Economic Policy Dialog

modsit is the focal point for SL JP Economic Policy Dialog. The convening of the Sri Lanka - Japan Policy Dialogue was proposed in the Joint Declaration on a “Comprehensive Partnership” between two countries, issued during the visit of Hon. Prime Minister to Japan in October 2015.

Under the framework of the Policy Dialogue it was decided to hold three specialized Dialogues:

  1. A dialogue on Maritime Security, Safety and Oceanic Issues, to be chaired by the Ministry of Defense;
  2. An Economic Cooperation Dialogue, to be chaired by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs
  3. An Economic Policy Dialogue& Consultation on National Development Cooperation, to be chaired by the Ministry of Development Strategies & International

The overall dialogue focused on promotion of investment and trade, collaboration in the national development plan and cooperation in the national reconciliation and peace-building process in Sri Lanka. However, the Economic Policy Dialogue will limit to promotion of bilateral investment and trade and investment aspects of national development plan. The first round of Sri Lanka- Japan Policy Dialogue was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo on 12th January 2016.Second round; the Economic Cooperation Dialogue was held at the MILODA in 5th February 2016 to strengthen the bilateral ties of development cooperation.Third round; Consultation on National Development Cooperation & Economic Policy Dialogue, was held by the Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade on 26th July 2016 in Colombo.

         Joint declaration of two Prime Ministers pdf icon 

Ease of Doing-Business

The Economic Policy Framework of the government has given high emphasis on improving investment climate so that the level of private investment and FDI in particular, can be increased to the level that the economy will perform at its full potential to achieve the government’s development goals and targets set for the medium and long-term.

While the government has emphasized the importance of improving investment climate to induce the economic development, such improvement may contribute towards enhancing country’s position in the Doing Business Indicator ranking which is computed and published annually by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. The ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’, is a benchmark indicator for investors and businessmen to judge how governmental regulations have made it easy or difficult for local small and medium-sized businesses to do business in a country. It does not cover the large businesses on the presumption that, with their superior financial strength and well-established networks, they could bend their advantage to any obstructing governmental regulation or simply pass through them.

Improved ranking in the “Doing Business Index” is vital in improving the investment climate of the country and offers a positive perception among the global business community. Further it will support obtaining positive credit rating for the country. The ranking also affects number of other globally compiled indices namely; ‘Index of Economic Freedom’, ‘Global Competitiveness Index’, ‘Corruption Perceptions Index’ and ‘OECD rankings’.

  •    Performance of Sri Lanka on 2016 DBI

As per the latest DB Report published by the World Bank (WB) Group, Sri Lanka is ranked at the 107th position in 2016, when compared to the previous year’s comparable rank of 113. The country’s Doing Business rank in  absolute terms or the DTF score has improved from 57.50 in 2015 to 58.96 in 2016, narrowing the country’s distance to frontier measure. Sri Lanka has been ranked at the position 3rd in South Asia, while Bhutan and Nepal were positioned at 1st and  2nd, respectively in 2016.

  •     Positive Reforms towards DB 2017

The compilation of Central Bank on the basis of reforms implemented by the relevant agencies for each sub-area, identified  following reforms to be highlighted to the World Bank for the consideration in compiling the DB index ranking of Sri Lanka for the year 2017, which we consider would have a favourable impact on the country ranking.

Sub-area Reforms
Starting a Business

Payment of stamp duty on the issued shares was removed with effect from 1st January 2016.

Dealing with Construction Permits

Reduction of the number of days taken to obtain certificate of conformity from Municipal Council of Colombo from 42 days to 14 days.

Getting Electricity

Time taken from submission of application to providing supply is reduced from 101 days to 52 days.

A loan scheme for payment of capital contribution has been introduced. Customer shall initially pay 25% of the cost estimate and a bank guarantee for 25% for 2 years shall be forwarded. The balance 75% shall be paid in 60 months at an interest rate of 11% per annum.

To improve the reliability of supply;

Network development programs have been initiated

A system with 24 hours Distribution Control Center and Call Center are in operation to inform outages.

Customer is being fitted with a Energy meter with a modem to send SMS to Call Center when supply fails to the customer. The Area Engineer is notified, who will immediately coordinate and supervise until power is restored.

Registering Property

The seller can obtain building and street line certificate from the Municipal Council within two days, if all the requirements are fulfilled.

Protecting Minority Investors

Compliance to the directive SEC/LEG/13/12/23, which requires companies with shares traded on the Colombo Stock Exchange to comply with the “Code of Best Practices on Related Party Transactions” becomes mandatory from 1st January 2016.

Paying Taxes

Introduction of on-line tax filing through the RAMIS would reduce the payment numbers and time to comply considerably.

Trading Across Borders

Under the e-service in Issuing Certificates of Origin (CoO) introduced in November 2015, the exporters will be able to electronically submit information relating to CoO on-line with effect from June 2016.