Graced by President - Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister - Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade - Malik Samarawickrama and several key ministers, the event which was hosted by Chairman BOI, Dumindra Ratnayake and Director General, Duminda Ariyasinghe, was also well attended by significant members of the investment community, along with employees of the BOI and BOI companies, both past and present.
The proceedings commenced with the opening of the Exhibition Centre and the unveiling of a sculpture of former President J.R. Jayewardene.
Chairman BOI, Dumindra Ratnayake in his welcome address stressed on the BOI’s contribution to the economic transformation of the country, while confirming the organization’s continued commitment towards delivering on its mandate to be a driving force of the economy.
While both the President and Prime Minister addressed the gathering, a highlight of the celebrations was the distribution of awards to “Outstanding BOI Enterprises’ by both the President and the Prime Minister. 40 such organizations were honored based on criteria such as investment value, employment generation and length of operation in Sri Lanka.
In addition to this, recognition of service, both of employees of BOI enterprises as well as BOI staff themselves took place with Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade along with BOI Chairman, Dumindra Ratnayake and Director General, Duminda Ariyasinghe presenting the awards.
Since its establishment in 1978, the BOI has contributed immensely to the Sri Lankan economy, by means of enhanced export earnings, diversification of the export base, creation of employment opportunities, transfer of advanced technology and skills, local skills development, infrastructure development, rural development and poverty reduction. With 1,700 projects in commercial operation and providing almost half a million employment opportunities, The BOI remains a significant change agent in transforming Sri Lanka’s economy from a largely agrarian base into the modernized, manufacturing and services based platform it is today.
Industries operating under the BOI contribute to over 70% of the country's total export earnings and for 85% of the national industrial export earnings.
Spearheading the country’s economic development, the BOI has over the years laid the foundation for local dominance in segments such as apparel, solid tires, value added agriculture products, ceramics, sanitary ware and tableware while channeling investment and growth into sectors such as communication, tourism, logistics, knowledge services and infrastructure.
The BOI’s latest business model, is the collaborative establishment of export processing zones, where the investor is a zone management specialist, who not only develops the zone and its internal infrastructure but is also tasked to attract new investors to the zone.
BOI staff have also been privileged to be part of training programmes conducted by Harvard University’s Centre for International Development, Mc Kinsey Consulting and the World Bank Group.
This is in line with new targets set for the BOI, delivering ambitious development goals set out in line with the present government's economic strategies. Accordingly the BOI is set to play a key role in contributing to the sustainable development of the country.