Board of Investment (BOI)
Investments Opportunities in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Investment Guide
In carrying out its primary function of investment promotion, the BOI aims at sector based investor targeting, while specializing in aftercare, navigating and regulating investor operations to reach its true and highest potential throughout the lifespan of the enterprise. More
The Government is committed in facilitating, protecting, and promoting a liberal investment climate in Sri Lanka by continuing to re-align the systems and procedures to suit the modern business needs. Adaptive and educated workforce, quality of living, access to fast developing infrastructure, and facilitation, are some of the advantages that the potential investor will have. More
Areas of investment :IT and IT Enabled sectorLogistics : Sri Lanka enjoys a unique advantage through its location on a key East-West trade route while being on the doorstep of India, which is the largest economy in this part of the world :
ManufacturingTourism and LeisureFood ProcessingElectrical and ElectronicsAuto components
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– Foreign investors are permitted 100% ownership in most areas except for a few restricted areas given below
Exclusions:-A company proposing to carry on any of the following businesses:i. Pawn brokingii. Retail trade with a capital of less than Five Million US Dollarsiii. Coastal Fishing
Limitations:-Foreign investments in the areas listed below will be approved only up to 40% of the stated capital of such company or if a special approval has been granted by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka for a higher percentage of foreign investment in any company, only up to such higher percentage.
i. Production of goods where Sri Lanka’s exports are subject to internationally determined quota restrictionsii. Growing and primary processing of tea, rubber, coconut, cocoa, rice, sugar and spicesiii. Mining and primary processing of non-renewable national resourcesiv. Timber based industries using local timberv. Deep Sea Fishing (as defined by the Ministry assigned the subject of Fisheries)vi. Mass Communicationvii. Educationviii. Freight Forwardingix. Travel Agenciesx. Shipping Agencies
– Under the purview of the BOI, an investor can make an investment either under Section 17 of BOI law or Section 16 BOI law of the Sri Lanka
– For Section 16 of BOI law of the country, the minimum investment should be US$ 250,000
– Under Section 17 of BOI law, investor will qualify for concessions and incentives provided that they meet investment criteria.
Investment Thresholds for BOI Approval under Section 17 of BOI Law
The transfer of title of any land situated in Sri Lanka was prohibited if such transfer is;(a) To a foreigner; or(b) To a company incorporated in Sri Lanka under the Companies Act, where any foreign shareholding in such company, either direct or indirect, is 50% or above; or(c) To a foreign company.
The foreign investors are eligible to lease lands in Sri Lanka to establish their projects. The land lease period is subject to a maximum tenure of 99 years. Foreign investors are not liable to pay any lease tax when leasing a land.
Outright transfers will only be permitted when the foreign shareholding is less than 50%. However, foreign entities, if listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is entitled to purchase freehold land in Sri Lanka.
Further, condominium properties can be purchased outright with no restrictions on nationality.
The BOI recommends different type of visas for Investors, dependents, and expatriate workers of BOI approved projects under sec. 17 & sec. 16 of the BOI Law.
Type of visa recommendation– Entry Visa / Multiple Entry Business Visa– Residence Visa / Special Residence Visa– Extension of Residence Visa– Temporary Visa (maximum 03 months only)
Investors and expatriate employees should arrive in Sri Lanka using Entry Visa or business visa and within one month from the date of arrival Entry Visa to be converted to Residence Visa with the recommendation of the BOI.
If the applicant leaves from the country within the Entry Visa period (One month), no provisions are available to convert the same Entry Visa to Residence Visa, unless a fresh Entry Visa application is submitted.
Temporary Visa will be recommended for contracted technical workers (expatriates) for a period of 3 months for specific assignments after evaluation of such activities.
Visa category / Project type & Validity period
Entry Visa – 01 month from the date of arrival
Residence Visa – 01 year from the date of arrival
Extension of Residence Visa
– 02 years for (Sec.17 Projects)– 01 year for (Sec.16 Projects)
Temporary Visa – Installation work – expatriates only
Special Residence Visa- 01 year (Investor on Electronic Travel Authorization – ETA Visa)(e.g. Sri Lankan / Child Born in Sri Lanka)
– Capital Investments shall be made through an “Inward Investment Account (IIA)”
– Income from such investments and proceeds of disposal shall be credited to IIA
All charges are liable to VAT 8%.(All charges can be paid on the rupee equivalent as per the prevailing exchange rate)
For more informationBoard of investment (BOI)Level 24 & 26 West Tower,World Trade Center, Echelon SquareTel: +94 112434403-05Fax :firstname.lastname@example.org
13th Floor, 75/6-7 Ocean Tower2 Soi 19, Sukhumvit Rd., Wattana, Bangkok 10110