Six companies including two Chinese investors have expressed their interest in starting operations at the Bingiriya Export Processing Zone (EPZ). Representatives of these companies recently met the Minister of Development Strategies, Mr.Malik Samarawickrema to discuss different matters relating to the establishment and future operations of these companies The ministry and the BOI were able to resolve bottlenecks that may delay the future operations of these companies.
The Minister was assisted by Deputy Minister Development Strategies and International Trade Mr.Nalin Bandara, Mr. Mangala Yapa, Chairman Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Mrs. Champika Malalgoda, Director General and senior officials of the BOI.
The companies included Vofone Development (Pvt) ltd., (Processing fruits for export-Chinese investment), Synergy Pharmaceutical Corporation (Pvt) Ltd (Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plant – Sri Lanka Investment), Empire Feed Mills Pvt Ltd – (Feed mill to supply animal feed to local market – Sri Lanka / Malaysia investment), Sanmic Food Pvt Ltd (Coconut Cream and milk for export-Sri Lanka investment) T S Global (Pvt) Ltd (Manufacture of PE Polythene) water pipes for export market – South Korea/Sri Lanka Investment), Brandix Lanka Ltd (Apparel Manufacturing – Sri Lanka Investment). The estimated total value of these investments will be US$ 63.69 million.
Mr. Ishan Jiffry, Factory Manager of Vofone Development Company stated “the Bingiriya Export Processing Zone has given our enterprise an opportunity to expand our business and it is therefore important that every effort is made to ensure that infrastructure at the Zone is rapidly developed. Bingirya is a well-planned Zone and setting up our factory there will be an advantageous proposition for our company.”
Another investor Mr. Kim Tae Geun President of TS Global Lanka Limited, from South Korea added “The manufacture of large PE pipes in Sri Lanka is essential for the country as these products need to meet the highest international standard. It is therefore our company’s objective to make high quality pipes in Sri Lanka at the Bingiriya EPZ. We are a private company which will invest US$ 3.9 million in the Bingiriya Plant. We will be employing 40 workers but plan to expand our operations in the future”. Mr. Kim added “Bingiriya was selected because of the availability of land and we will be using 6 acres of the Zone to build a highly automated manufacturing plant. We expect that it will take 6 months to finalize the full production capability at the Zone. We will be also looking at exporting our production in the future. I am also confident that with every new development evolving in a positive way we can develop a new range of products in Sri Lanka such as pipes but also buildings and other projects.”
The Bingiriya EPZ is aimed primarily to attract FDI in labour intensive manufacturing sectors. The products manufactured in the Zone which are targeted for Sri Lanka’s Export Markets, will be of the highest quality and contribute immensely towards strengthening the National Economy. The Zone will be a very significant generator of employment as it will create manufacturing potential and also transfer technology which will boost the country’s position on the development ladder.
In view of the importance of developing quality human resources the BOI and the Ministry of Development Strategies are looking in the long term to train the local workforce for target industries which will be cutting edge and contribute towards strengthening Sri Lanka’s position as an advanced middle income country, with the prospect of realistically joining in the long term the ranks of developed nations.
The Development of the BOI’s Bingiriya EPZ is to be conducted in three phases.
The first phase of the process will see the development of a 164 acre area known as German – Watta which will lead to the establishment of 25 enterprises with a capacity to create 10,000 direct employment opportunities and 3,000 indirect ones. The infrastructure of this Zone will be completed by September 2019.
Under the second phase an additional 282 acres of Gorakagasgara – Watta will be developed. Once this expansion is completed the cumulative number of enterprises at the Zone will rise to 70 with a total of 25,000 directly employed workers and 10,000 indirectly employed.
In the third and final phase the estimated total land extent will be 1,200 acres with a total of 75,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities. The whole development process at Bingiriya is expected to be finalized within an 8 -12 year timeframe.
The completed Bingiriya EPZ will radically transform the National Economy by introducing into the area heavy and light engineering industries, IT and IT based industries, automobile parts manufacturing and the assembly of vehicles, logistics services, apparel and food processing. The Bingiriya Export Processing Zone will serve as a catalyst to economic transformation, development and modernization.