BOI’s new chief misses bosses assumption of office


Newly appointed Chairman and Director General of country’s premier investment promotion agency, Lakshman Jayaweera, missed the recent assumption of office of Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene as the Investment Promotion Minister at the World Trade Center.

Many an eyebrow was raised when the Sydney based chemical engineer and entrepreneur didn’t turn up at the ceremony held at level 25 of the West Tower of the plush building. Abeywardene’s deputy, Faizer Mustapha, too, assumed duties at the same event. The appointment of a person with an overseas private sector background will help Sri Lanka attract investment at a time when global foreign direct investments have fallen, but where developed economies are expected to partly recover from a recession, the BOI said recently.

Jayaweera had founded HydroMet Corporation Ltd, a resource recovery firm in 1987. The firm had produced high purity Selenium and Tellurium which was used in thin film solar panels.

Jayaweera had sold out of the firm, which was a listed company, in May last year.

Among those present at the swearing in ceremony were Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who had previously held the investment promotion portfolio, Presidential Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and Milinda Moragoda, former minister.

Having noticed Jayaweera’s absence, some made inquiries and was told that Jayaweera was in the Philippines.

Recently economist and Opposition MP Harsha de Silva pointed out that Yapa had received the investment promotion portfolio after Minister Rajapaksa’s failure to meet the challenging task of attracting foreign direct investment. (SF)

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