Iranian company to manufacture Yachts in Sri Lanka

Following the successful Iranian Trade and Business Exhibition that was held in Colombo recently, a number of business opportunities have arisen as a result of the event. This exhibition succeeded in showcasing a wide range of products made and services produced or offered by companies in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The result of this was the signing of a MOU between a Sri Lankan and an Iranian company for the manufacture of a variety of boats.

The Chief Guest at this event was Dr Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion who actively promoted Sri Lankan- Iranian economic ties. Minister Amunugama had held discussion with the Iranian Minister of Commerce Massoud Mir Kassem, to examine ways to promote greater economic ties between the Governments and more importantly, the private sectors of Sri Lanka and Iran.

Dr Amunugama spoke of the growing ties between the two countries and said that next month, President Ahmedinajad of Iran was to make Sate Visit to Sri Lanka. Iran was going to support Sri Lanka on the construction of the Uma Oya project, a 28 km tunnel that will bring water from the Central Highlands to the Hambantota District. Iran was emerging as one of Sri Lanka's major economic partners in trade and possibly investment in the future.

Commenting on the project Minister Amunugama said that yachting, as a leisure activity had not really developed in the Subcontinent in contrast with East Asia and the Persian Gulf areas. Sri Lanka was very much dependent on land based tourism; thought steps had been taken inn areas such as whale watching. The construction of yachts in Sri Lanka offered potential to upgrade the Sri Lankan tourism industry by offering high end products.

Channa Palansuriya, Member of The BOI Board of Directors signed the MOU on behalf of the BOI. The event, which was co-ordinated and facilitated by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, was also an opportunity to create joint ventures between private sector establishment of Sri Lanka and Iran.

One such example of the new co-operation was the signing of a MOU for a joint venture between Fulton Yachts International of Iran and FRP Services & Co (Lanka) Ltd to manufacture various types of boats/crafts in Sri Lanka. FRP Services & Co has exported boats to the Maldives, Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

The MOU was signed on 1st February 2008 at 11 am at the Hilton Hotel by P.S (Dudley) Fernando, Chairman of FRP Services & Co and by Ali Zamani Nasser, Managing Director and Vice president of Fulton Yachts International of Tehran, Iran.

Ali Zamani Nasser was upbeat about the visit to Sri Lanka, adding that it had been most fruitful. Fulton Yachts was able to gauge first hand the potential Sri Lanka offered. Adding that Sri Lanka can do with the sea and it was a good opportunity for technology sharing between the two countries. He was confident that relations would be further expanded.

The main organizer of the exhibition Shariatmadari concluded by stating that relations between the two countries would expand further. One area that showed a lot of potential was tourism in both directions. About 10 Iranian tour operators had been present in Sri Lanka during the recent exhibition and what was needed was a direct air link between the two countries in the near future.

The project will cover the manufacture of different kinds of boats including vessels for fishing, pleasure, leisure, passenger and fast inshore boats. The project which will be located at Hendala, Wattala, will be investment of US$ 500,000.The project will create employment opportunities for 300-500 workers in Sri Lanka.



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