October, 21, 2020
The India SME Accelerator Network, together with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), hosted a webinar on ‘Business Opportunities in Sri Lanka’.
Held on 8 October, the event was supported by the India-ASEAN Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Introducing the main objective of the session, India SME Accelerator Network (ISAN) Chief Executive Officer Shalini Dabholkar elaborated on the importance of creating awareness on opportunities related to investment and trade between India and Sri Lanka.
Focusing on investment potential from the Indian market, BOI Executive Director Prasanjith Wijayatilake covered Sri Lanka's economy, investment climate, and its opportunities in a brief presentation. Key highlights were Sri Lanka's post-COVID economic recovery, market access and workforce competitiveness in terms of talent and productivity.
He also provided insight into near term investment opportunities in pharmaceuticals and textile manufacturing in proposed export processing zones in Hambantota and Eravur, both of which are planned to kick off in early 2021. The presentation was concluded by highlighting India's contributions to Sri Lanka from an FDI perspective.
Following up on the BOI presentation, Jay Jay Mills Lanka Director Srikumar Balasubramaniyam presented a testimonial on his company’s operations in Sri Lanka. A leading player in the country’s apparel sector, since 2003, he emphasised on Sri Lanka’s infrastructure facilities, education, and skilled workforce while also elaborating on the very high quality of life on the island.
This was followed up with a Q & A session, focused on ‘Setting up in Sri Lanka,’ which prioritised identified target sectors, current investment thresholds, and applicable incentives on investment.
Ajith Perera, representing the FCCISL, spoke at length on the existing trade relations between the countries, with a focus on areas of improvement to the existing trade balance, as well as emerging opportunities for meaningful trade partnerships between the two business communities.
Rounding off the event, SLPA Chairman General (Retd.) Daya Ratnayake, IASCCI Chairman Soundara Rajan, FCCISL Secretary-General Ajith Perera, and ICICI Bank Assistant General Manager Puneet Mehta discussed relevant aspects of the bilateral trade relationship between India and Sri Lanka, covering a range of sub-topics from business opportunities to banking and trade promotion.