Investors eye Lanka - GL


By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The high powered investors from all over the world are now eyeing Sri Lanka for major investments. That is because most of them have abandoned empirical doubt on Sri Lanka’s security issue, the Minister of External Affairs Prof G.L Peiris said.

"Image of Sri Lanka is now paramount importance at this juncture, because of current tranquility and predictability has positively attracted major investors, "Prof Peiris said at the ceremonial inauguration of the 31st ICA National Conference organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. The theme of the event was ‘The world sees opportunities in Sri Lanka"

Minister Peiris said last few weeks they had received several high powered trade and investment delegations and several investors have expressed their interest by way of setting up manufacturing plants, invest in acquisitions and mergers of companies and in the stock market.

US top companies like General Electric’s Pension Fund would invest in the Sri Lankan stock market as it is the second best performing stock market in the region, he said.

Prof Peiris said that Chairman of the Shangri la hotel Ian Hopp who was in Sri Lanka was pleased and excited with Sri Lanka peace and tranquility condition and decided to build two hotels in Sri Lanka one in Colombo and other one in the deep down South.

Further Chairman of the Mahindra Group Ananda Mahindra who visited Sri Lanka now interested in the leisure sector in the country because Sri Lanka is now rated as the number one tourist destination by several organizations. Further, three senior Indian Ministers are to visit Sri Lanka to enhance ties with Sri Lanka, he said.

Prof Peiris said that the first vessel to be reached the newly built Hambantota Port on November 18 will have a high powered Chinese business and investment delegation nominated by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"Three days ago the British parliamentary delegation expressed their interest to support Sri Lanka’s development endeavor, while a German Delegation would be meeting in two weeks time, which they are delighted to help us," he said.

We are also now in the process of removing all issues relating to investors especially simplifying the tax structure, simplification of land acquisitions for investment purposes and introduction of education reforms and many more changes, he said.

Attorney General Mohan Pieris said that chartered accountants role are pivotal because they are drivers of economic growth.

He said that auditors report and financial statements are important because most investors are very particular on that. Therefore the corporate world looks at accountants with a sense of honour as they rely on those reports.

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