Business News from Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s Investment Board recently held a Business and Investment Forum at Ahmedabad’s Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI), targeting members of the Chamber. The Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi and the Sri Lankan Consulate General in Mumbai supported this Forum.
Malik Samarawickrama Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade led a business delegation comprising Ravi Dadlani, CEAT Managing Director Kelani Holdings, Vivek Mehata, CEO MAS Brands India, Sanjay Jain, Executive Director & COO, Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC and Shantha Bandara, COO, Sunshine Holdings.
Austin Fernando, Sri Lanka High Commissioner in India, Mangala Yapa, BOI Chairman and others were among the senior authorities present.
The Forum was attended by over 100 leading Indian entrepreneurs from Gujarat representing various industries. Gujarat, as India’s fifth-biggest state economy, is of significant significance to Sri Lanka on the west coast of India.
President, GCCI Durgash V Buch, said Gujarat and Sri Lanka could be partners in encouraging agribusiness, textiles, petrochemicals, spices, and tea.
He said at least 1,000 members of GCCI’s total member base of 6,000 are regularly dealing with Sri Lanka in industries including refractories, pharmaceuticals, apparel, plastic packaging, starch, oil and oil products, tea and other agro-products.
“Sri Lanka also has an FTA with Singapore and, in return, Singapore has FTAs across the globe with significant nations such as the USA, Turkey, Japan and China to name a few, which I think our Gujarati entrepreneurs will take into account when investing in Sri Lanka.”
Austin Fernando, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in New Delhi who launched this Forum, said at the beginning that adding value is component of economic development that can assist both nations. He elaborated on Brandix, a Vishakapatnam-based Sri Lankan success story that has supplied 17,000 work possibilities including 12,000 Indian female employees.
In delivering the keynote address, Malik Samarawickrema focused on the promise of Sri Lanka as an investment location and invited Indian investors to Sri Lanka to appreciate its geographic benefits, port connectivity and effectiveness, preferential tariff access to big economies (especially the EU market), extremely trainable human resource pool and other benefits.
“We want to encourage investment in manufacturing to create jobs for our individuals.”
Mangala Yapa, Chairman of the BOI, delivered a presentation on “Investment Opportunities in Sri Lanka” covering the reasons for investing in Sri Lanka and the opportunities for growth and investment.
GCCI participants expressed a keen interest in the investment proposal from Sri Lanka during the interaction that followed while commending government policies that actively encouraged development in the private sector.