Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Word of Caution on Investing in Sri Lanka - Part 2

In my blog post "A Word of Caution on Investing in Sri Lanka - Part 1" we looked at some of the potential risks and dangers of investing in Sri Lankan land and properties. In this second instalment we'll take a closer look at other areas of investing, such as the stock market and local business opportunities.

Late last year, the newly-appointed BoI chairman Dumindra Ratnayaka reportedly stated that "foreign direct investments into Sri Lanka are expected to reach US$1.5 billion in 2017, almost double that of 2016".

However, at the end of 2017 there was a great deal of uncertainty around the local government elections, 2018 budget, lack of clarity on new taxes and changes to key legislation, and levels of foreign funds flowing in and out of the country that reflected investor concerns. Debate around Sri Lanka's Budget 2018, the enactment of a new Sri Lankan Foreign Exchange Act after delays, and questions around the real winners and losers of all these new taxes and legislative changes had been the focus in the news for the latter part of 2017.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Amendments to Sri Lankan Visa Regulations for Foreigners

This week the Sri Lankan Government approved a series of amendments to the Immigrants and Emigrants Act No. 20 of 1948, which will mean favourable changes to existing visa regulations for foreign nationals and former Sri Lankan citizens.

Many of these changes relate to longer stay visas and will be welcomed as positive change by foreign nationals or expats in Sri Lanka, particularly foreign investors, employees and spouses.

One of the banes of expat life in Sri Lanka has been the regular and frequent visits to the Department of Immigration and Emigration ("DIE") to renew your visa. As time has passed, the process to apply or renew your visa in Sri Lanka has become a little smoother, a tad more efficient, and the offices of DIE have moved to a better locale. These latest changes will be a welcome relief as well as to encourage the foreign influx into the country.