Home / Front Page/ Davos trip a resounding success: Harin

Davos trip a resounding success: Harin

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 24 January 2017 00:15


  • World Economic Forum event to be held in Sri Lanka in 2018
  • Investor confidence has grown Harin claims
  • Country received positively by many world and economic leaders  
  • Horana tyre factory issue was a minor disagreement between BOI and relevant ministry

By Chathuri Dissanayake

The Government yesterday said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos was a “resounding success”, helping to boost investor confidence and opening up opportunity for a high profile event in Colombo by the Switzerland-based global entity.

Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando said yesterday a request by the Prime Minister to hold an event of the 01-1World Economic Forum in Sri Lanka in 2018 to coincide with the 70th Independence Day celebrations in the country was received positively. The organisers of the World Economic Forum agreed to assess the situation and study the suitability of the country to hold the event, given an unofficial confirmation of acceptance of the invitation. A delegation from the organisers of the World Economic Forum will be in Sri Lanka during the Digital Island Forum planned to be held during end of March, to carry out a feasibility study, he said.

Fernando also claimed that meetings the Prime Minister had with different world leaders on the sidelines of the Davos event helped boost investor confidence and dispel any negative image among the international community.


“We had fruitful discussions with a number of investors including creator of Alibaba platform Jack Ma and Indian investor Mittal. The Prime Minister met with a number of world leaders and was able to encourage them to come to Sri Lanka. Our country is nothing in the greater scheme of things at Davos, but because of the way our Prime Minister handled the relations we received good response,” he claimed. However Fernando claimed news of protests in Hambanthota was featured in the forum news feed, painting a very one sided image for the international community.

Hinting at tightening relations with China, Fernando said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jingping was fruitful.  Meetings with leaders in information technology, including Microsoft and Japan, were also successful, indicating the possibility of greater engagement in Sri Lanka, he said.

The World Food Program Executive Director Ertharin Cousin accepted an invitation to visit the country to assess the drought situation in the country and provide necessary assistance, following a meeting with Wickremesinghe.  

When asked if investors displayed willingness to invest in the country in the current political environment, Fernando insisted that investor confidence has grown over the last two years despite Bloomsburg listing Sri Lanka as one of the 14 riskiest countries to invest.


Emphasising that there was a serious economic decline during the last Government, which he claims prompted Former President Mahinda Rajayapksa to call for an early election, Fernando insisted that over the last two years the current Government has been able to stabilise the economy, earn a good Fitch rating and create a conducive environment for foreign investment.  Fernando was on the defensive when questioned on why much publicised recent investments have gone sour after initiation, claiming issues regarding the Horana Tyre factory investment was due to a disagreement between the BOI and the relevant ministry. He also said that no accusations of money laundering levelled against Rajapaksa loyalist Nandana Lokuwithana have been proven. Referring to the Volkswagen fiasco, Fernando claimed that it was explained from the beginning that the international brand may come in later.

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view

Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)

Emperors without clothes: Is Mother Lanka naked too?

Monday, 17 June 2019

The expression ‘The Emperor without clothes’ derives from the Hans Anderson tale that is based on Sufi wisdom. The Emperor in Anderson’s story was without doubt, the finest dressed man in the land and he loved wearing fine clothes and spent al

The confusion of the collision is becoming indescribable!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Strange are the things we are witnessing in the political scene. The fast-evaporating trust and confidence in politicians and the Government are seriously destroying the harmony of the nation. The Prime Minister of the country has admitted that the

Columnists More