Sri Lanka beckons Malaysian investors - FMM

Saturday, 16 July 2011 00:21 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

MALAYSIAN businessmen should make a beeline for Sri Lanka to take advantage of new business opportunities that have been popping up there since the end of the conflict and return of political stability in the island state, said Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong, Chairman of the SMI Committee of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) who had recently returned after leading a trade delegation to Sri Lanka.

“The presence of so many heavy duty trucks and container vehicles all over the island indicates a sharp pick-up in exports and imports and manufacturing activity compared to three years ago”, he added.

Malaysian businessmen should vie for opportunities in contract manufacturing especially in resource based downstream industries and for the supply of a wide range of goods especially building materials that are now in serious short supply, the FMM further stated.

The Chairman also said there are vast opportunities in marine and other resource-based products in addition to openings in import substitution for electrical and electronic products.

“The Sri Lankan government is eager to create employment and the country has vast natural resources especially rubber. Malaysians can set up industries to manufacture a wide range of rubber goods for the South Asian and world markets,” Tan Sri Soong said.

“Sri Lanka is now going through what Malaysia went through in the ’60s, evolving from an agricultural economy to a manufacturing and industrial economy. We have 40 years of manufacturing experience which we can share with Sri Lanka especially in the field of small and medium industries,” he said.

As he noted, setting up in industries would also open up markets in SAARC, a common market that includes India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

“We have seen the success of AFTA, the Asean common market, and this should spur us to tap the new emerging markets in South Asia”, he stressed.