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    Sri Lanka welcomes Investors

    Renowned for centuries as a trading hub in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a mid-sized island with abundant natural resources and highly educated young and dynamic labour force.

    Through progressive economic policies, Sri Lanka has emerged as the gateway to the Indian sub continent. Highly favorable free trade agreements with India and Pakistan has open access to a market over 1.4 Billion people. Preferential access into the European Union and current negotiations underway with China and Singapore are going to expand Sri Lanka’s position as an export hub to engage in preferential trade with more than 3 billion people in near future.

    A stable and peaceful democracy, Sri Lanka has emerged as a key investment destination for local and foreign investors. As a country which is soon to be elevated into upper-middle income country, Sri Lanka offer investors a safe business- friendly investment environment which is now a highly competitive economy among emerging nations.

    The marine, aquatic and fisheries sector offer exciting new opportunities for investments, in a country the ancients called “Serendib “or “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean”.

    Some of the potential areas for investment are:

    Fisheries Sector

      • Strengthening of the local high seas fishing fleet by introducing 24 — 45 m class Tuna long-line fishing vessels.
      • Fishing for unutilized or underutilized high-value species such as squid and deep-sea lobster in the EEZ.
      • Processing and re-export of fish caught by foreign fishing vessels outside Sri Lankan waters;
      • Re-export of imported fish products after canning or effecting other forms of value additions.
      • Value addition to locally produced fish products intended for export - Currently most of the fish, shrimp and other fishery products are exported only after dressing.
      • Establishment of ice plants, cold rooms and cold chains - Ideally, a single investor may establish a cold chain for a specific coastal stretch linking production and supply of ice with marketing of fish, which will benefit both the investor and fishers.
      • Boat repair & docking that includes lifting boats from the harbour and transporting them to the repair sites. These activities could also be conducted jointly with the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation. Investors could also couple this service with engine repairs.


    Further information on fisheries projects together with information on laws and regulations that are applicable can be obtained from the Director General, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ( )

    Aquaculture Sector

      • Aquaculture Industrial Park
      • Coastal aquaculture in Trincomalee, Jaffna and Mannar districts
      • Seaweed farming in the North (Mannar, Kilinochchi and Jaffna districts)
      • Modernization of the existing shrimp farms in the Puttlam district.
      • Pond culture or red tilapia or milkfish in under-performing shrimp farms in the North - Western Province.
      • Culture of Sri Lanka ornamental fish and ornamental plants.
      • Sri Lankan ornamental fish such as guppies are internationally known for their variety and resilience.
      • Farming of sea-cucumber (Holothuria scabra)
      • Culture of bivalve mollusks (oyster and mussel)
      • Farming of mud crab (Scylla serrata) and blue-swimming crab (Portunus pelagicas)
      • Mariculture (Farming of sea-bass, grouper, corbia, tuna, etc)


    Further information on aquaculture projects can be obtained from the Director Coastal Aquaculture, National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka (

    Inputs for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industries

      • Production of fishing gear (fishing ropes, fishnets, fishing tackle, etc).
      • Production of shrimp feeds and other aquaculture feeds - Total requirement is now being imported. The required raw materials; fish offal, fishmeal, and different kinds of grains, etc. are available locally.
      • Manufacture of boats for export - Sri Lankan companies have supplied fishing boats, pleasure crafts, luxury and surveillance crafts for Customs and Coast Guard, lifeboats, etc complying with stringent international requirements to countries such as The Maldives, The Seychelles, Mauritius, Middle Eastern countries and European countries such as U.K., France, Holland and Norway.

    Other Activities

      • Establishment of Seafood restaurants - There is potential for seafood restaurant business in major cities of the country.
      • Establishment of marinas, provision of whale-watching and sport-fishing facilities.
      • Ecotourism - Sri Lanka's spectacular eco-tourism resources make it one of the top nature and eco-travel destinations.
      • Establishment of a state-of-the-art underwater aquarium and a fisheries museum — there are no large-scale public aquariums in Sri Lanka particularly with marine fish. The aquarium may be coupled with a fisheries museum.


    Approval of Foreign Investments needs by BOI :


Sri Lanka to be the leader of conservation and sustainable utilization of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the South Asian Region.


Managing the utilization of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for the benefit of the present and future generation


Copyright © Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. 2017

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Last Updated Date 2017-09-20

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