The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Vienna in collaboration with the Vienna Chamber of Commerce (WKO) organised a hybrid webinar to promote investment from Austria in Sri Lanka.
The hybrid webinar was attended by Regional Manager for the Asia and Pacific Region Johannes Brunner, Commercial Attaché of the Austrian Embassy – India Bernd Andersson together with Austrian companies, while Chairman of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, Executive Director of Investment Promotion Prasanjith Wijayatilake, Director of Investment Promotion Nilupul de Silva, Head of Ecosystem of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Darshan Maralanda, Deputy Director of Export Development Board of Sri Lanka Udeni Wijekoon, and officials from the Foreign Ministry took part in the event virtually.
Austrian companies representing health, renewable energy, environmental technology and vocational training sectors, who are keen to invest in the region, particularly in Sri Lanka were selected by the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. The said companies were namely, Odelga Med Engineering GmbH, AME International GmbH, Med-El Elektromedizinische Geräte GmbH, VAMED Engineering GmbH. VACE Systemtechnik GmbH, M-U-T Maschinen-Umwelttechnik-Transportanlagen GmbH and Global Hydro Energy GmbH.
The Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to Austria Majintha Jayesinghe welcomed the participants by stating that Sri Lanka has set an ambitious plan to facilitate investments that can have a transformative impact on the economy. The Government is doing its utmost to create an enabling environment to attract more investments. The Ambassador emphasised that special relations between Sri Lanka and Austria have grown exponentially covering a multitude of areas with mutual benefits and called on everyone to join this transformative journey by investing in Sri Lanka.
Brunner highlighted the importance of the webinar to further expand the cooperation between the two countries. It was also pointed out that potential investments from Austria are focused in the fields of renewable energy, pharmaceutical industry and vocational training. It was further highlighted that Sri Lanka needs to develop projects that could attract these investments, especially during the COVID pandemic. The participants also expressed their willingness to facilitate the request to procure high quality medicines from Austria to Sri Lanka.
Wijayatilake provided a detailed brief on emerging investment opportunities and explained the conducive investment climate with new policies and tax incentives.
“Sri Lanka is a vibrant destination with over 1,200 foreign companies engaged in various economic sectors including IT services, tourism, food processing, logistics, education and large-scale infrastructure. Sri Lanka is on the right track to achieve a 5-7% GDP growth rate in the next decade based on a knowledge-driven economy,” he said.
The briefing also focused on five priority sectors to drive FDIs, namely, manufacturing, ICT, hospitality and tourism, agriculture and food processing, construction and infrastructure. The BOI Executive Director also elaborated on the newly created specialised economic zones for pharmaceutical and textile items in Hambantota and Batticaloa.
Dr. Gunasena explained the opportunities available in public health sector in Sri Lanka. The Chairman briefed on immediate requirements for medical supplies at government hospitals and urged Austrian medical manufacturers to take advantage of this opportunity. Dr. Gunasena went on to state that the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation is willing to assist in registering the medical suppliers from Austria.
M/s Med-El Elektromedizinische expressed the company’s willingness to extent technical support in the field of hearing implants. M/s Global Hydro Energy Company also expressed its interest to invest in hydro energy field through small and medium-scale projects.