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Sunday, 14 June 2009

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Investor drive for regional development

The first major post-war investor confab for regional development "BizPact", supported by Government agencies and big business chambers, will be held from June 25 to 29 in Colombo. The event is being organized by Business for Peace Alliance (BPA).

Investors, which mainly include the Sri Lankan Diaspora from UK, USA, Australia, Canada and other countries, and local investors will attend this event. It seeks to build a unique platform linking big business based in Colombo, international investors and Sri Lankan investors domiciled overseas, together with the small and medium scale businesses and entrepreneurs in the regions throughout Sri Lanka.

Soon after the conclusion of war last month President Mahinda Rajapaksa made an appeal to Sri Lankans living abroad to come to Sri Lanka and help rebuild the nation.

This conference is also aimed at attracting the local entrepreneurs who are based overseas.Chairman, BPA Suresh de Mel, maintained that the small and medium scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) throughout Sri Lanka are ready to take advantage of the emerging window of opportunity to rebuild the nation and collaborate with investors using the "bottom up" approach to development.

CEO, of BPA, Manique Mendis said that the confab would be coupled with visits to the regions where investors could be able to have a first hand look at opportunities available.

These visits will provide an opportunity for local and foreign investors to take forward strides in developing the regions of Sri Lanka through joint venture partnerships with the SMEs in the regions.

Besides matching investors and deserving entrepreneurs from the regions, the Conference will provide prospective investors an opportunity for dialogue on policy issues relating to investment in the regions with high level Government officials and first hand insights into the regions revealing the ground realities of Sri Lankan situation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Board of Investment, Sri Lanka Tourism Authority, Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process, National Chamber of Exporters, Young Entrepreneurs Sri Lanka, American Chamber of Commerce and the European Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka are partnering BPA in this Conference. Minister of Public Administration and Internal Affairs, and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Sarath Amunugama MP will deliver the keynote address of the event, on June 25 at the BMICH.

A panel discussion on Investment opportunities in the North East, Mannar, Moneragala and other lagging regions will be brought to focus by Group Director, Maharaja Organisation, Nimal Cooke, Director, Economic Affairs, Government Peace Secretariat, Rohantha Athukorala and many other speakers, on June 29 at Galadari.

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