‘Britain to invest in tourism expansion drive’
Britain is interested in investing in the expanding tourism industry
in Sri Lanka specially to increase room capacity for the tourism sector
which is now in progress.
Sir Paul Judge
“We will play a major role in infrastructure development initiatives
targeting roads, bridges and related facilities of construction to
facilitate the Government's development drive,” Sir Paul Judge, a
visiting UK businessman told Sunday Observer Business.
“With British companies that have world class experience in all
aspects of construction, they could make a positive contribution in this
field. With the level of quality and competence that British companies
are known for, the tourism industry could benefit from this,” he said.
During his ten-day visit to the island, he had observed that the
country was fascinating and beautiful. “I will request my friends in the
UK to visit Sri Lanka, where hospitality is at its highest, on business
and holiday tours”, he said. “We are confident that investments made
here are safe and secure.
There are a lot opportunities for investments to flow into the
country. However, the country needs to improve the present ranking in
the Ease of Doing Business index. The time taken to set up a business
has to be shortened considerably. When this is done property, related
matters such as issuance of permits to commence construction, utilities
such as electricity and water need to follow suit.
The straight forward tax regime and reduction of red tape could be
viewed as an encouragement for investors. The country could move up from
it’s current 80th position in the Ease of Doing Business index by
addressing each point of the index criteria, Sir Paul said.Commending
the continuous economic growth, Sir Paul said that when terrorism ended
three years ago, the international community was cautious about the
“We had a ‘wait and see’ approach but now we are confident that the
country is moving in the right direction.
British investors are happy to invest in countries where there is
fast GDP growth, a stable government, less red tape, reduced taxes and
where the rule of commercial law exists and faith in the system runs
high, he said. The country’s business climate is now ripe and offers
many lucrative commercial opportunities. As there are no indications
that terrorism still prevails, the Government’s development agenda will
attract more investment into Sri Lanka. There are 25 British
universities in Sri Lanka at present. British Airways which plans to
recommence operations from March sees much potential in the country’s