Sri Lanka - කටුනායක නිෂ්පාදි ක්රියාකාරකම
The Katunayake Export Processing Zone (EPZ) stands as a prominent industrial hub within Sri Lanka, nestled within the Western Province’s Gampaha District and the Katana Divisional Secretariat. Established in 1978, this sprawling zone covers an impressive extent of 513 acres, of which 330 acres are designated for industrial activities. With its strategic location, close proximity to the Bandaranaike International Airport, and declaration as a bonded area for Hub operations, the EPZ has earned the distinction of being the largest of its kind in the nation.
A Prime Location and Robust Infrastructure at Katunayake Export Processing Zone
Situated approximately 29 kilometers north-east of Colombo, and adjacent to the Colombo (Katunayake) International Airport, the EPZ boasts a strategic geographical advantage. This positioning facilitates seamless transportation, thanks to convenient rail facilities, a bus terminal, and a Dry Port facility catering to import and export cargo. The EPZ’s flatland area spans 215 hectares and is equipped with essential infrastructure, including an asphalt-concreted internal road network that ensures easy access to all plots.
Robust Infrastructure Facilities for Optimal Operations
The Katunayake EPZ prides itself on providing comprehensive infrastructure facilities, underscoring its commitment to facilitating seamless operations for businesses within its premises. Some notable features include a Central Effluent Treatment Plant facility, ensuring effective sewage and effluent management with a treatment capacity of 12,000 m3 per day. The zone also adheres to global standards, offering potable water treated to WHO standards and a solid waste disposal facility.
Furthermore, the EPZ ensures a stable power supply, delivering a substantial 63 MVA through its dedicated grid sub-station. In terms of security, the zone is equipped with advanced measures, including security lighting, chain link fencing, and round-the-clock security coverage by the Board of Investment (BOI). Fire safety is prioritized, with fire engines and firefighting equipment supported by a hydrant system.
Stimulating Investment and Reinvention
The Katunayake EPZ’s significance transcends its physical attributes. Stemming from the United National Party government’s open-economy policy in 1977, the zone emerged as the country’s inaugural Free-trade zone, now recognized as an Export Processing Zone (EPZ). It has played a pivotal role in attracting foreign investment, offering incentives such as duty-free imports and exports, preferential tax rates, double taxation relief, and the opportunity for up to 100% foreign ownership.
Over the years, the Katunayake EPZ has fostered a diverse industrial landscape, housing over one hundred multinational industries. Predominantly catering to the garment and clothing industry, the EPZ has significantly contributed to employment generation. The workforce, primarily composed of young female migrants from rural villages, reflects the EPZ’s role in providing economic opportunities to marginalized communities.
However, the EPZ’s journey hasn’t been without challenges. In 2011, a protest against a proposed pension plan led to unfortunate consequences, resulting in injuries and the resignation of the Inspector General of Police. Despite such obstacles, the zone’s resilience and capacity have been recognized on a global scale. In the fDi Intelligence’s Free Zones Awards 2022, the Katunayake EPZ earned an honorable mention for its reinvestment strategy, highlighting its commitment to continuous improvement.
A Vision for the Future at Katunayake Export Processing Zone
Looking ahead, the BOI, which governs the EPZ, remains committed to fostering a conducive environment for investment. The strategies for reinvestment encompass addressing existing investors’ concerns, identifying new investment opportunities, revitalizing non-performing companies, and encouraging non-BOI entities to register under BOI. These strategies collectively aim to increase foreign direct investment, enhance productivity, and drive the expansion and diversification of existing enterprises.
The BOI also engages in open facilitation dialogues with investors, enabling them to share insights and recommendations for streamlined processes. As the Katunayake EPZ continues its journey, it is poised to attract technology-driven investments, aligning with global trends of innovation and sustainability. The government’s focus on this sector underscores its commitment to fostering long-term investment viability, technological advancement, and the holistic development of human capital within the country.
Katunayake Export Processing Zone stands as a testament to Sri Lanka’s commitment to economic growth and global integration. Its strategic location, robust infrastructure, and visionary strategies position it as a key player in attracting investment and driving economic progress within the region.
- Total area: 215 hectares
- Year opened: 1978
- Electricity supply: 63 MVA through grid sub-station
- Wastewater treatment: Sewage/effluent treatment capacity of 12,000 m3 per day.
- Water supply: Storage facility within Zone 2.25 million gallons
- Security: Security lighting. Chain link fencing, and round the clock security for entire areas by the BOI
- Fire safety: Fire engines and firefighting equipment supported by hydrant system
- Airport: Opposite Bandaranaike International Airport