The Board of Investment


The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) was incorporated as a statutory body in 1978 named Greater Colombo Economic Commission (GCEC), to function as the government’s principal agency for promotion, coordination and facilitation of industrial development in designated areas of Sri Lanka. The initial model of development was to demarcate specific areas as Export Promotion Zones for which concessions and other facilities were provided. These Zones were initially established in Katunayake and Biyagama. Later more Zones were added progressively, now resulting in a total of 14 Zones. The GCEC was changed to BOI in 1992 by an Act passed by Parliament expanding its scope to cover the entirety of the country. BOI has since evolved from an agency primarily responsible for the promotion, coordination and facilitation of foreign and local investment in industrial exports, to its present role which includes the promotion, coordination and facilitation of investments into the services and infrastructure sectors as well.


The key objectives of the BOI focus on fostering and generating economic development, widening and strengthening the base of the economy, encouraging and promoting local investments and Foreign Direct Investments, diversifying the sources of foreign exchange earnings and increasing export earnings, promoting innovation and adoption of new technologies and the generation of new employment opportunities and establishing Investment Promotion Zones (IPZs) throughout the country especially through public private partnerships. Another key role of this economically important institution is to target and attract investments to thrust sectors supporting implementation of the government’s investment policy and to progressively increase the level of FDI thereby contributing towards achieving national growth targets.


The BOI acts as the first point of contact for investors who intend to set up projects in manufacturing, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, IT related services and other chosen sectors in Sri Lanka. Information and guidance is provided prior to the submission of the project application and when required approvals from other Agencies are coordinated by the BOI. Investment applications in respective sectors are evaluated by the BOI for approving and granting concessions on incentives, duty exemptions on raw materials and components and making recommendations to immigration authorities for issuing visas for expatriate employment positions in the industry. The BOI provides assistance to investors throughout the project cycle from the start-up to implementation and successful operation by facilitating and attending to import/export clearance, customs clearance for import of capital goods and raw material and the export of final products. The BOI invests in the development of Investor Promotion Zones with all infrastructure facilities to provide investors with suitable sites for the implementation of projects towards a quicker enhancement of overall investments and/ or export earnings.


The Board of Investment carries out customs clearance operations for BOI approved establishments using the ASYCUDA system with the concurrence of Sri Lanka Customs.

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