Board of Investment Archives


Sri Lanka: Sixth GSM operator licensed?

Posted on December 30, 2008  /  26 Comments

Board of Investment has granted approval to a sixth mobile/ 5th fixed operator. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to a new mobile (GSM) and fixed (SCDMA) telecommunications network provider. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman / Director General signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to Mr. B.
Meeting the traget of a billion dollars of FDI in 2008 seems to rest on foreign investment continuing at a high rate in telecom.  After all, in the first half of the year, telecom brought in USD 291 million, out of a total of USD 425.  However, the increasing hostility to the sector driven by the JHU plus the decline in people’s buying power pulled down profits last quarter.  The largest mobile operator, Dialog, stated that its capital expenditures for the coming year will be cut by about 25 percent at an investment briefing recently. One cannot draw conclusions from one quarter, but do not be surprised if the first half of 2008 turns out to be the high point of investment in the sector.
LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said Tuesday it has received BOI status from the Board of Investment that would enable it to import and buy locally project-related items free of customs duty. Powered by ScribeFire.
The Central Bank Annual Report 2006 (p. 39) states: The inflow of foreign direct investment increased substantially by 110.3 per cent to US dollars 604 million in 2006 . . .
The LBO story states: Sri Lanka’s two private wireless local loop telecom operators have been called up to pay around Rs. 400 million as duties for importing handsets, industry officials said. Last month, the island’s Board of Investment (BOI) slapped a 33 percent import duty on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) handsets with immediate effect. CDMA is a low cost cellular technology that has been effectively used world over to provide cheaper connectivity to rural homes. Though the technology is similar to mobile phones, the handsets are similar to a bulky fixed line unit.