Woo foreign investors at highest level - expert | Daily News


Woo foreign investors at highest level - expert

Cecil Balmond
Cecil Balmond

Sri Lankan authorities should focus on getting foreign investors who have the ability to transform the economic landscape through mutual contacts at the highest level, internationally renowned artist, architect and engineer Cecil Balmond said.

“Investment road shows alone cannot bring the right kind of investors to the island,” he told the Daily News on the sidelines of a forum in Colombo yesterday.

“Sri Lanka should make a greater effort to encourage investors with good plans. The negotiations should be done by the right people,” he said answering a question on lacklustre attitude towards Sri Lanka by global investors.

The Sri Lankan-born Balmond is keen to project a world-class image for Sri Lanka. He says, Colombo can be rich and fertile if the authorities take a serious interest in rebuilding the city with a comprehensive plan.

“There have been impressive plans for Colombo since the 1940s. However they never saw light at the end of the tunnel.” A city plan has to be comprehensive and piece of art finally. Balmond who spoke at a forum themed ‘Big Architecture and Cities’ organized by the Council for Business with Britain emphasized on the advantages of building big cities full of landmarks, gathering places, monuments, museums, theaters and activities for every visitors. Referring to the current Port City project he said, he said, “It is a huge challenge. Politics can disturb the development activities. If the Port City project goes well, it could be a massive development for Sri Lanka,” he said. Balmond is the architect of Cinnamon Life Colombo who pioneered the design for the project.

“Without infrastructure plans do not work,” he says. Talking about the way forward for Colombo’s future as a big city, he said, there should be more conferences and fora to discuss proper ideas on planning and the political agendas should not be a reason to cripple city development projects. (CJ)

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