Focus on investment, knowledge transfer and trade promotion
Chamber proposes post-budget meet on priority sectors

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has written to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe proposing a high level workshop on investment, knowledge transfer and trade promotion as an integral part of the new government’s 100-day program to promote the concept of Sri Lanka as a preferred destination in these areas.

The Chamber’s Chairman, Mr. Chandra Jayaratne, has written to the Prime Minister suggesting that the workshop be held towards the end of April after the budget proposals had been announced.

Jayaratne said that foreign and local entrepreneurs, business conglomerates and chambers of commerce should be targeted to attend this workshop with participants carefully selected.

"It would be desirable for the target group to originate from the important areas of trade investment not only from the region but also the rest of the developed world," Jayaratne said.

He also stressed the need to ensure the presence of eminent speakers at this workshop which could focus on carefully selected topics of global interest. He suggested that "A Regional Perspective of Global Competitiveness" would be a possible theme that would be appropriate in the context of the recent Global Competitiveness Report.

Jayaratne said it would be desirable to approach the USAID sponsored Competitiveness Initiative with a request to support the workshop in association with the BOI and the EDB with the two local organisations tasked with organisational and infrastructure arrangements.

He said that his chamber believed that such a forum would be an ideal launching pad to initiate and announce the government’s plans for securing peace and internal security throughout the country; introducing essential economic reforms and de-regulating within an open market framework and enhancing Sri Lanka’s competitiveness as a key regional investment and trade destination.

The Ceylon Chamber chief said that the workshop would also be a forum to announce the new government’s policy framework, incentive package to promote investment, knowledge transfer and trade.

He said that this initiative could be supplemented with an export promotion exhibition during the period of the workshop and the launching of the National Competitiveness Initiative.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be happy to facilitate and assist the organisation of the proposed workshop and establish close contact with local and foreign business people, Jayaratne said.

"This would be quite apart from utilising to maximum advantage our already established networks with the Confederation of Indian Industries, British Chamber of Commerce, SAARC Chambers of Commerce and other regional chambers including the Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce."