Biz Leaders discuss economic direction for Sri Lanka | Daily News


Sri Lanka – Malaysia Business Council meeting

Biz Leaders discuss economic direction for Sri Lanka

A forum discussing Sri Lanka’s economic direction for 2020, organized by the Sri Lanka - Malaysia Business Council, was held at the Hotel Galadari. The event included some of the country’s key business and economic leaders, who discussed the potential for Sri Lanka’s national and foreign direct investment. The Forum also addressed the future economic policies, key areas for development, export earnings and development of the tourism industry, key projects such as the Port City and how local businesses could invest and expand.

Nalaka Godahewa, former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Sri Lanka Tourism and current advisor to the government delivered the keynote address. Dr Godahewa in his speech, elaborated the steps that the new government has taken to stimulate the economy to spur growth through the tax benefits that had

been provided to the business community and the people. He stated that while Sri Lanka has a huge debt burden hanging over the country, the Government is very focused on getting FDI’s to flow in through the programs that have been launched, with an even stronger focus on Small and Medium enterprises to promote growth. Focus is also being placed on making the Government

Service the largest employer in the country more productive and efficient.

The panel comprised of Rtd. Gen. Daya Rathnayake, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Prasanjith Wijayathilake, Executive Director - Investment of the Board of Investment (BOI) Sri Lanka and Shiran Fernando, Chief Economist, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

The BOI official discussed opportunities for Sri Lanka, based on global trade dynamics, US China tensions, India’s growth and more, while the Ceylon Chamber explained the growth, macro and reform outlook and on global developments and impacts on Sri Lanka. The Chairman of the Port Authority highlighted the role of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, given they are one of the economic pillars to Sri Lanka’s Economy.

He mentioned that port development was critical, adding capacity to the port infrastructure was important for Colombo to maintain its competitiveness as the transshipment hub of the region. The Malaysia - Sri Lanka Business Chamber Chairman Dato Kulasegaran Sabaratnam, gave his comments from the Malaysian perspective towards investing in Sri Lanka.

He stated that currently, he has brought a high powered business delegation to Sri Lanka to identify investment opportunities.

One of the delegates of the Malaysia - Sri Lanka Business Chamber stressed the need for the BOI to be the one-stop shop for investors, especially, as it was difficult for investors to get approvals. Wijayathilake of the BOI, mentioned that with the changes being effected at the BOI, the focus was to make it the one stop shop.

President of the Sri Lanka - Malaysia Business Council, Keerthi Jayasuriya, elaborated on the steps taken by the SLMBC to promote in trade and investment between the two countries and mentioned that the SLMBC was glad to have organized this event.

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