‘BRI initiative, a huge opportunity for Sri Lanka’ | Daily News

‘BRI initiative, a huge opportunity for Sri Lanka’

The high profile experts at the event
The high profile experts at the event

The Belt and Road initiative (BRI) from China and currently one of the largest trade and investment themes will create a huge opportunity for many industries in Sri Lanka said Suren Rajakarier, Partner, KPMG & Vice Chairman of ACCA member network panel.

Speaking at ACCA hosted CEO forum on the implications for Sri Lanka on the BRI initiative he said that the BRI initiative was not just about exports to China. It takes into account the countries along the BRI that have their own unique and valuable resources, which are highly complementary to one another and creates vast potential for cooperation.”

“It encourages countries to jointly collaborate, share and exchange to a larger, higher and deeper content in an equal and mutually beneficial way. This can be considered a major innovation in international cooperation.”

Presenting findings from a local survey carried out jointly with KPMG on the awareness level and how the benefits of BRI will impact Sri Lanka he added that there was greater need for awareness among Sri Lankan corporates as only 38% believed BRI to be a boardroom discussion within the next 5 years. “However, 52% of the respondents had plans to scale up capacity to meet growing demands.He also said that accountants too will have to play a key role in this sinario.

Professor of Tsinghua University International Center for Communication, Li Xiguan, outlining key visions of this venture, said it is about building “a road of peace, prosperity, that connects different civilization,” and in giving priority to major investment and foreign aid projects. “It will deliver positive socioeconomic impacts, whilst also working to promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment along the Belt and Road.”

He explained that although the initiative was proposed by China, participation of other countries along the proposed routes and related countries was indispensable to its implementation. “This initiative would serve to enhance economic interconnectivity and facilitate development across Eurasia, East Africa and more than 60 partner countries”

The event included high profile experts comprising Rajendra Theagarajah –Chairman Ceylon Chamber of Commerce & Managing Director of Cargills Bank , Dr Zhao Ying, Associate Director, China Sri Lanka Cooperation Studies Centre of Pathfinder Foundation and Kelvin Tan - Regional Sales Director, South East Asia, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd.

The panel’s opinion was that Sri Lanka’s strategic position in the middle of the maritime Silk Road, offered the opportunity of promoting the country as a trading hub in the Indian Ocean that could further improve trade and investment linkages with China and other partner countries including East Asia and Europe, that can be translated into concrete outcomes for the country in the future. 



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