PM urges Swiss Forum to use SL as hub for South Asia

Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Acknowledges 2016 will be difficult year globally but Sri Lanka will be one of the bright spots

hamper-picPrime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaks at the Sri Lanka Investment Forum at the Morosani Posthotel in Davos Switzerland yesterday

By Nisthar Cassim in Davos, Switzerland 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday urged participants at a forum in Davos in Switzerland to base their operations in Sri Lanka to serve South Asia and beyond. 

Speaking at an investment forum held in Davos ahead of the World Economic Forum, the Prime Minister acknowledged that 2016 would be a difficult year globally but there would be bright spots and Sri Lanka would be one of those.

“Sri Lanka has political stability and is pursuing both political and economic reforms which will be far-reaching,” the Premier added.

The Forum was organised by the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and over 100 were present, including some of the Swiss and Asian delegates who are in Davos for WEF.

The Prime Minister outlined progress in strengthening democracy and good governance via reforms. He also highlighted plans to accelerate economic growth. To better facilitate investors, he spoke of the upcoming Agency for Development and Agency for International Trade as well as the Megapolis project and the Port City.

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran spoke on ‘Policy Outlook for Sri Lanka: Economic Overview and Investment Opportunities’. Belgium Camso-Loadstar Chairman Pierre Pringiers shared a testimonial and investor’s perspective of Foreign Direct Investment in Sri Lanka.

Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to UN in Geneva, Switzerland Ravinatha Ariyasinha were present.

A large delegation from Sri Lanka attended the forum as well.

Today a VIP luncheon forum will be held today with Prime Minister in attendance.Lankan business leaders include JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake, Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar, Carson Cumberbatch Director Hari Selvanathan, John Keells Holdings Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunewardene, former Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Suresh Shah, Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Vajira Kulatilake, Ceylon Biscuits Group Managing Director Sheamali Wickramasinghe, MTD Walkers Chairman Jehan Amaratunga, TW Corp. Chairman Thilan Wijesinghe, Virtusa Chief Operating Officer Keith Modder and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce CEO Mangala Yapa are among the Ceylon Chamber delegation along with two foreign investors Pierre Pringiers (Camso Loadstar) and Philip Richart (Lafarge Holcim), Advisor to PM Dinesh Weerakkody, CSE Director Anton Godfrey, business leader Suresh Subramaniam and top professional  Dr. Kapila Ranasinghe.

Via the two events Sri Lanka is sharing the direct investment climate and discuss in more depth actual investment opportunities, facilitate a dialogue with actual players and stakeholders, project owners and provide testimonials of people who have been investing in Sri Lanka over the years.

Ahead of WEF 2016 in Davos, the Prime Minister held several bilateral meetings with political and business leaders yesterday. He also attended a press conference organised by WEF where he spoke on recent progress of Sri Lanka and future outlook. He also commented on some global and regional issues.