Colombo, May 22 (IANS): The Sri Lankan government has expressed doubts over achieving its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) target for this year following the Easter bombings, the media reported on Wednesday.
Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said the April 21 attacks which killed over 250 people and the ethnic violence in the aftermath of the bombings had taken a hit on investor confidence due to which the government would not be able to reach its target of $3 billion this year.
He, however, was optimistic that the export market would continue to perform well, Xinhua news agency reported.
“As we are aware, the terrorist activities and mob violence will adversely affect the economy. Especially in the tourism sector. I am pleased to inform that the government is in the process of implementing a relief programme. As far as the exports are concerned, we are confident that we can achieve the targets set for 2019,” the Minister said in a statement.
“As far as the investments are concerned, we will not be able to achieve the targets set. Both the local and foreign investors are shaken from what has taken place in April and May in Sri Lanka. But the security forces have taken control of the situation and during the next few months, the terrorist factor will be completely eliminated.”
The Sri Lankan government in January said it was aiming to attract $3 billion foreign direct investments in 2019 as several mega projects were being discussed with international investors.
However, the island’s economy took a hard hit when the suicide bombers struck three luxury hotels, three churches and two other locations, dampening investor confidence.