A copy of the book ‘Taming the Tigers’ is being presented to Youth Affairs, Project Management and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayake by Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC MD/CEO and LMNC Chairman Michael Koest in the presence of its author Jim Lawless (2nd from left), Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando (4th from left) and National Policies and Economic Affairs State Minister Dr.Harsha de Silva during the LMNC’s inaugural business forum held last Friday in Colombo
Pic by Kushan Pathiraja
A consortium of leading multinational corporations in Sri Lanka last week officially launched League of Multinational Corporates (LMNC), a business association that will promote the island nation’s economic potential and initiate a dialogue with the government on the issues and opportunities in the investment landscape.
Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC MD/CEO Michael Koest, who is also the LMNC Chairman noted that some of the multinationals have been operating in Sri Lanka for over 100 years and have been in the forefront in transfer of knowledge and technology and introducing world-class governance practices to the country.
He further said ensuring a “stable and predictable operating environment” for businesses is a key objective that LMNC would strive to achieve.
“LMNC is there to promote economic development of Sri Lanka; to transfer knowledge and best practices; to identify and discuss issues and opportunities with the government of Sri Lanka,” Koest told the LMNC’s inaugural business forum that featured Jim Lawless, a globally renowned speaker and the author of the bestselling book ‘Taming the Tigers’.
The event was also attended by Youth Affairs, Project Management and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayake, Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando and National Policies and Economic Affairs State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva.
According to Koest LMNC was first formed in early 2018 by a group of likeminded multinational corporate heads to discuss issues and opportunities and continue their over 100-year old business activities in the country.
The current members of LMNC are: HSBC, the largest bank in Europe with an asset base of US$ 2.4 trillion; global payment solutions leader MasterCard with over 550 million cardholders globally; FMCG giant Unilever with over 10 million customers in Sri Lanka; Heineken, world’s second largest brewer present in 192 countries, Lanka IOC PLC, India’s number one brand and first energy company to be listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC, a unit of British American Tobacco and the company with the highest market capitalisation on the CSE.
“As you can see we are group of companies who are part of the lives of every Sri Lankan,” Koest said.
He further noted that over the years, multinational corporates have added substantial value to the nation’s development and have been spearheading innovation, state-of the-art manufacturing processes and development of local talent—apart from contributing billion of rupees in tax revenue to the government.
“Our work in Sri Lanka will continue, so will our commitments. We will be a vocal advocate of Sri Lanka’s potential as an investment destination. But we cannot do this alone. LMNC and the government have to embark on a journey to solve problems and enable prosperity to all Sri Lankans. We sense that Sri Lanka is open for dialogue now” Koest said.