BDO Global CEO Martin Van Roekel (second from left) briefs journalists in Colombo. Others from left: BDO Managing Partner Sujeewa Rajapakse, BDO Asia Pacific CEO Stephen Darley and BDO Partner Tishan Subasinghe - Pic by Sameera Wijesinghe
Says country has immense growth potential with China’s ‘One belt, One Road’ initiative
Stresses importance of creating adequate business space to attract investments
By Charumini de Silva
On his first visit to Sri Lanka, the Global CEO of BDO Martin van Roekel was pleasantly surprised by the country’s economic development and believes the circumstances are right for it to realise higher economic growth in the future.
During his two-day visit to Sri Lanka he had several meetings with the Government Ministers, including Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, as well as key corporate leaders and scholars.
“Sri Lanka has immense growth potential with China’s ‘One belt, One Road’ initiative and their interest in the country’s investment opportunities, which will make a significant impact on the future growth of the economy,” van Roekel told journalists in Colombo.
He commended Sri Lanka’s efforts in building the right investments to absorb the advantages of the ‘One-belt, One-Road’ initiative of China, but insisted it was important to realise that there was adequate business space in the country to attract investments.
The purpose of his visit was to explore economic development, which according to him has drawn the spotlight from foreign investors during the past two years, and in turn to enlighten BDO’s partners and the economies in which they operate about Sri Lanka’s investment opportunities.
Noting that BDO has a strong global presence especially in China from its inception, van Roekel suggested that by making use of the healthy relationship of the two institutions of BDO Sri Lanka and BDO China they could create a positive contribution for both economies.
“We have strong relationships with State-owned enterprises (SOEs), listed companies and SMEs in China. I strongly believe that our business and personal relationships will benefit both economies,” he added.
Acknowledging the sizeable international brand presence in Sri Lanka, he pointed out that it was a clear sign of business confidence and proper governance.
“My first visit gave me a very positive impression about Sri Lanka. There is a lot of construction taking place, the streets are clean, buildings are well-maintained and people are very warm and welcoming — this is not the case in many countries. I intend to come back,” van Roekel stressed.
BDO is an international network of public accounting, tax and advisory firms which performs professional services under the name of BDO. As of 2016, BDO had member firms in 158 countries, employed around 67,000 partners and staff in over 1,400 offices throughout the world, and was the fifth-largest professional services network globally.
BDO Partners in Sri Lanka is a firm of Chartered Accountants operating since 1958, providing auditing, accounting, taxation and other related services to its clients over the years.