Investors, corporate leaders continue with investments, expansions
COLOMBO: Leading investors in Sri Lanka and corporate leaders
said they are undeterred by the recent incidents in Trincomalee and
Colombo and are planning to go ahead with their planned investments and
The community expressed their commitments at a media briefing chaired
by Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Rohitha
Bogollagama at his Ministry on Thursday.
Views expressed by the business leaders during the
Susantha Ratnayaka, Chairman, JKH John Keells Holdings: "We are
encouraged by the response and the action taken by the Government. They
have kept us informed as an when able and substantiated what they said
with facts. This is encouraging.
We are quite a resilient private sector we have had set backs. We are
carrying on with all our investment plans which are quite substantial in
the next two years."
Deva Rodrigo, Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce: "The violent was
confined to Trincomalee and did not spread to the rest of the country
and things have come back to normal within the last few days.
These are the confidence factors to me and I believe if they rated
the country down due to this events, they should equally very soon rate
the country back towards or even above that when they realise that
whatever provocative action that took place is not spread beyond
Trincomalee and things have come back to normal so fast.
Therefore, I am very confident that investment flows will continue.
There might be a little delay people will question is that the right
time to go, but sooner we get back to normal they will realise this is a
country we are a resilient economy. The business community is very
resilient. We are at six percent growth last year."
Udaya Nanayakkara, Chairman, Ceylon Tourist Board: "We have already
reached the first quarter target this year. We have in fact exceeded. We
are quite confident that this year will be the best year for Sri Lanka
Events of this nature will certainly send negative vibes down to the
But the actual ground situation is that certain incidents took place
The ground situation has come back to normal. The reaction of a
responsible Government is also experienced. Now we can see that things
are back to normal. So we keep on giving the correct information down
the line to the tourism wholesalers and also to the retail community and
Dr. Hans Wijesuriya, CEO Dialog Telekom: "The entire infrastructure
sector is very bullish. This year we should see large scale expansions
and investments in both fixed and mobile communications as well as in
other infrastructures in the communicators sector.
As a company which is very much in touch with the social life and
communities across all what really strikes us is that despite the small
fluctuations in the macro situation.
Civilian life goes on. Citizens are resilient and they get back to
business and that is the confidence investors have.
Telekom Malaysia has been here for the last 12 years. We have been
here for the last 12 years throughout the worst period. In contrast to
that what we see today is a minor fluctuation.
We see terrorism in all parts of the world and it has to be viewed in
that context. We are in the final stages of finalising a US $ 150
million investment. Chairman of Telekom Malaysia will be here shortly to
Anil Hirdaramani, Managing Director, Hirdaramani Group: "The order
books are looking good. Most of the domestic fabric mills are fully
booked up. I think that encourages people to come in and invest in new
fabric mills because obviously there is an urgent need for that. We look
forward to a successful year."
Tang, Prima Ceylon Ltd: "We are not deterred by the recent incidents.
The business is on going. Our operations are on going in Trincomalee. We
are still committed to our plan of investment continuing in this
country. We have been in Trincomalee since 1977. Our estimated
investment for expansions is US $ 30 million."
Sri Lanka High Commissioner in London, Kshenuka Seneviratna: "There
have been some reports that have been going out. We have been having a
dialogue with BBC from here also.
We continue to have this dialogue with them. We are maintaining close
relations with tour operators and also following the travel advisory.
The travel advisories of UK hasn't really changed overall since
January this year. It continues to maintain that it recommends only but
essential travel to the North and East and on the section dealings with
tourism there is a new paragraph which has reference to the April 25
Abbas Aesufally, Hemas Holdings: "UK tour operators Straus Plc is
operating on a charter basis commencing on May 10. This is the first
time that charters come in from Manchester directly to Sri Lanka.
Over 75 per cent occupancies were sold for the whole season two weeks
ago. This is an excellent result in attractiveness of Sri Lanka as a
tourist destination in UK market.
The UK market is showing high growth rates and supported by both the
Tourist Board and the High Commissioner in London. I think it is
certainly going to help in the interest and investments in the sector.
They have already announced increasing the frequencies from fortnightly
basis to weekly basis from February 2007."
Ministry Secretary Thosapala Hewage, Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat Head
Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka High Commissioner in London Khsenuka
Seneviratna, Chairman/DG, BOI, Professor Lakshman R. Watawala, Ceylon
Tourist Board Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara and business leaders and
investors were present.