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Sunday, 10 January 2010

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Building trust, bridging North-South pact

Building trust, bridging the gap between the North and the South and bringing all stakeholders on one platform to develop the North were the positive outcome of the BizPACT Investor Forum themed invest in peace Responsible investment opportunities in the North from January 5-8 in Jaffna.

It was organised by the Business For Peace Alliance (BPA) Chairman Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Jaffna K. Poornachandran said that the forum was timely and helped to bridge the gap between the North and the South and also build good faith and trust.

He said that the forum helped them to build a relationship with all stakeholders in the development of the North including the chambers, diaspora and investors from Colombo.

In addition, we found joint venture partners for our industries in Jaffna financially and discussions were held to transfer technology and also for skills development.He said that people in the North hope that the A-9 would not be closed in the future as they want all links with all parts of the country to continue.

The people of the North have got peace after thirty years and the timing of the forum was appropriate. We want the assistance of all stakeholders to develop the industries of Jaffna as well as the regions of the North and the East.

Director BPA, Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Trincomalee P. Wickramanayagam said that the forum was an awareness program showcasing the potential of the North and the East.

The forum gave a strong message to the local business community, investors and the diaspora about the potential as well as the challenges in developing the North and the East.

He said that investors had shown an interest to set up joint ventures and the initial match-making was done but further discussions have to be held before the agreements are finalised.

He said that technology in the factories should be upgraded, skills developed and capacity is built as the industries in the region have to bridge the 30-year gap.

An investor from Colombo said that it was a good beginning but it will take time for things to materialise. We are look at the possibility of investing in the health sector, hospitality and agriculture. As an initial step we are trying to go in for a joint venture to open a closed hospital.Chairman BPA Suresh de Mel said, "I am impressed by the number of participants as the SMEs never had a forum like, this. The important aspect is to take this initiative forward and the forum was a platform for stakeholders to express their expectations and do the match-making. Now it is the phase of match-making. The BPA will continue to bridge the gap between the SMEs, investors and the diaspora and develop the region in a socially responsible manner.

 

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