August, 31, 2018
A Billionaire who had said to have built his empire with initial Japanese business connections in Sri Lanka according to analysts, such as in Motor Vehicles trade franchises, Sri Lankan Billionaire Sumal Perera recently stressed that Sri Lanka’s best chance of investments in the country is China.
“I think most of the world is living are in denial and not admitting the role China is playing. Our best chance of investments in this country is China” Perera said stressing that however, Sri Lanka need to retain access to Western markets, in which case otherwise Chinese won’t invest in Sri Lanka.
“They would do one or two major projects, which are strategic; but to get influx of Chinese investments, it is so important that we keep this balance” he pointed out.
He was responding to a query on China’s increasing involvement in Sri Lankan economy, and suggested that Bangladesh is a good example for Sri Lanka to follow as Bangladesh has been able to attract Chinese investments while maintaining market access to Western countries.
“Bangladesh is a good example in this regard. They are keeping Americans very close in terms of production while China is carrying out infrastructure development projects. That a good model for us to follow. However, we are missing the bus on a daily basis,” he explained.
He made these comments at the ‘Fireside Chat' an event that was organized by the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka Division and Daily FT recently (29th August 2018). The 'Fireside Chat' was moderated by ICC Sri Lanka Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody and Daily FT Editor Nisthar Cassim. Event partners included TV Derana, Nations Trust Bank, and the Knowledge Partner for the event was Deloitte Sri Lanka with a featured special guest performance by the De Lanerolle Brothers.
Sumal Perera controlled and owned Access Engineering PLC owns over 84% stake of Sri Lanka’s Sathosa Motors PLC (SML) which is the franchise holder for Isuzu vehicles and spare parts manufactured by Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd. He also has businesses developed with Chinese, in which Access Engineering PLC has a 30% stake (an associate company of Access) is a joint venture with Shanghai, Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC) of China, the world’s largest container handling equipment manufacturer.
- Reporting by Devendra Francis