Memorandum of understanding entered into between Colombo Chamber of Commerce and China Federation of Industrial Economics at the conclusion of the inauguration ceremony. The picture shows Colombo Chamber of Commerce President Dr.Amila Kankanamge exchanging the agreement with China Federation of Industrial Economics Secretary General Xiong Meng
By Supun Dias
Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the government is encouraging genuine and serious investors to come and invest in the country’s infrastructure projects whilst strengthening Public Private Partnerships.
He made these remarks while delivering the keynote address at the Sri Lankan Economic and Investment Conclave (SEIC) 2017 inauguration in Colombo, last evening.
“We should make the best out of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative as we have a strategic position in the Indian Ocean so we can benefit from it.
We have set plans for the Colombo-Hambantota Corridor and the Colombo Trincomalee Corridor and we expect more and more Chinese investments coming in for the projects that are already planned in the Colombo City,” Ranawaka said.
From left: Dr. Palitha Kohona, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka and Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy at the Sri Lankan Economic and Investment Conclave (SEIC) on the Sri Lanka-China Dialogue at Kingsbury Hotel. Pix by Waruna Wanniarachchi
The two-day event targeting to attract more Chinese investments into the country is organised by the Colombo Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Federation of Industry and Commerce of China, Indian Chamber of Commerce and TRIVE International (Private) Limited, the strategic legal and corporate consultants.
Delivering the opening remarks, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that the main export markets of Sri Lanka namely the United States and European Union have shown steady growth and exports have grown significantly in the last four to five months.
“China is now transforming itself from ‘exporting of goods to exporting of capital’ and Sri Lanka being in the centre of OBOR, is set to attract lot of capital coming into the country from China and its investors.
“We are also planning to reach trade agreements with Singapore, India and China next year giving us preferential access to these important markets. So Sri Lanka would provide a lot of opportunities for investors coming into the island as they would gain access to these markets; not all countries have this sort of access,” he noted.
The Governor said that the government has clear policies in place when it comes to debt servicing which is a priority and as a first step the money that was gained through the long-term lease of the Hambantota Port will be used to pay off a significant portion of the debt.
Retired diplomat and one of the hosts of the event, Dr. Palitha Kohona in his welcoming address noted that this conclave would be an important step in giving a clear idea to investors about the potential of Sri Lanka as an economic hub in