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Sunday, 31 July 2011

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‘Sri Lanka, an ideal location for investment’

Sri Lanka is in a unique situation: It has a great opportunity to accomplish development in the entire country and earn recognition within Asia as a strategic location for investment.

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde with Susantha Katugampala

According to a lawyer practising Immigration and Commercial Law in Australia Susantha Katugampala, the country’s unique location, human capital, diverse nature and culture as well as the peaceful situation has positioned it as a strategic location for investment.

In addition a key to attracting investors is its political stability. Singapore and Malaysia were able to attract vast investments as these countries convinced the world that they had political stability. However, during that time both countries didn’t have democracy or transparency. The people engaged in business look for stability while others will need to see transparency.

Katugampala said that official interest rates in the US and European countries is less than one percent and therefore when investors invest their funds in banks at commercial rates the returns are very low. In contrast Sri Lanka has shown excellence in financial management by reducing the interest rates and the Sri Lankan rates are much higher compared to US or European rates.

In any country for a business to grow debt capital is vital. Local companies whether listed or unlisted and doing sustainable business are making profits.

Therefore, if investors from the western world invest their low cost funds they can achieve more profitability in Sri Lanka, said Katugampala.

An investor from US or Europe has the opportunity to earn more profits in a small emerging economy like Sri Lanka.

The country was known among the British as a beautiful country but due to cricket, conflict and (now) peace, the country is well-known in the world.

Personally he feels that good or bad publicity is publicity.

But extremely bad publicity will have an adverse effect and therefore, it is important that we control bad publicity against the country. In situations where the country has already received bad publicity,damage control must be implemented. The government, public, business community, Sri Lankan diaspora loyal to the country and international friends should join hands and continuously give positive publicity about the country to achieve this goal.

 

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