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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

UAE plans to large scale investments in Sri Lanka

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and New UAE Ambassador Abdul Hamid Abdul Fattah
Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and
New UAE Ambassador Abdul Hamid Abdul Fattah

The United Arab Emirates to Invest Large in Sri Lanka

The United Arab Emirates, which is the largest foreign direct investor in Sri Lanka among Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, is planning to undertake large scale investments in Sri Lanka
“Sri Lanka’s security and stability is attractive for UAE private investors. We are keen to expand our investment profile in Sri Lanka beyond current levels” The newly-appointed Ambassador for the United Arab Emirates to Sri Lanka Abdul Hamid Abdul Fattah K. Al Mulla said.
The Ambassador told the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen that his country is very keen to sign a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) with Sri Lanka. The Ambassador is initially looking at investing in port development, port management, and tourism infrastructure development in Sri Lanka.
“We welcome UAE’s private investors to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka investment climate has improved vastly thanks to the vision of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa” said Minister Bathiudeen, responding to Fattah.
Minister Bathiudeen  said that UAE is the second largest trade partner in the Middle East after Iran, and 22 UAE firms have actively invested $ 448.6 million in Sri Lanka by the end of last year, of which $ 16.5 million consisted of Sri Lankan equity.
Al Mulla has said that there are 58 flights a week originating from Dubai to Colombo by UAE-based carriers Air Arabia, Fly Dubai, Emirates, and Etihad, and since it is a sign of the tremendous tourism attraction, the tourist sector has become a priority for the UAE investors. The Ambassador has pointed out that bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $ 1.1 b at the end of 2011, and there is potential for future growth.
Signing a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements (BIPA) with Sri Lanka will be very important to bring UAE investments to Sri Lanka.


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