The Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka has announced that it had successfully administered the first dose of vaccinations against the COVID-19 pandemic to employees of all 14 export processing zones across the country, while carrying out a simultaneous drive to inoculate employees located in manufacturing entities under its purview that fall outside of the zones as well.
Through these initiatives, the BOI aims to administer the first dose of the vaccination for all employees totaling nearly 500,000 by mid of August this year.
This countrywide vaccination drive has been primarily supported by the Ministry of Health, the armed forces and local authorities, and it comes in the wake of all BOI enterprises cumulatively achieving a year-to-date export value for the first six months of the year almost on par with 2019 pre-pandemic rates.
2019 has been considered one of the best years for export growth in Sri Lanka’s history and this vaccination drive aims to support businesses to continue that momentum unhindered to surpass the 2019 full year export value.
Chairman BOI, Sanjaya Mohottala, said, “Currently, BOI enterprises represent 85% of national industrial exports of Sri Lanka and we remain committed to the safety of the people and the continued productivity of all manufacturing entities under our purview”.
“Furthermore, to have almost matched the 2019 year-to-date export value, amid the debilitating effects of the COVD-19 pandemic, is a testament to the resilience of the country’s export capability. With a total workforce that is soon to be armed against the pandemic, we have every reason to be confident of pursuing an agenda of aggressive economic development for Sri Lanka,” he also said.
The BOI provides nearly 500,000 direct employment opportunities across the country, stemming from both the 14 Export Processing Zones and other manufacturing facilities located outside the zones.
The drive to administer vaccines for this population is in line with the dual intention of containing the spread of infection at manufacturing locations on the one hand and supporting the national drive to contain the spread within the communities employees reside in, on the other.