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SL-UK Chamber of Commerce holds business roundtable with Foreign Minister Sabry

SL-UK Chamber of Commerce holds business roundtable with Foreign Minister Sabry

Daily FT: The Sri Lanka High Commission in the United Kingdom successfully organised a business roundtable on 26 January between the Sri Lanka–UK Chamber of Commerce and Foreign Minister Ali Sabry. The event marked a significant milestone in fostering trade and investment relations between Sri Lanka and the UK.
Sri Lanka-UK Chamber of Commerce President Shehan Silva emphasised the significant growth the chamber has experienced since its establishment two years ago. The roundtable successfully convened experts from various industries, such as tea, tourism, banking, and finance, contributing to the development of the strong institution it has become today.
High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK Rohitha Bogollagama underscored key objectives in facilitating the meeting. These included emphasising the recognition of Sri Lanka–UK collaboration as a crucial investment corridor and the need to effectively represent Sri Lanka to attract foreign investments. The discussions focused on various sectors pertinent to investment and trade relations.
In the Q&A session, several crucial factors were addressed concerning Sri Lanka’s economic environment and its suitability for foreign investment. Key points included leveraging talent within the technology industry, the stability of the Sri Lankan rupee, and the streamlined process for foreign investment especially in the Colombo Port City Project and repatriation of funds. The highlights also encompassed Sri Lanka’s potential as a hub for finance and technology, with specific references to projects such as the solar power initiative and advancements in renewable energy.
In wrapping up the session, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry outlined the current economic challenges faced by Sri Lanka in 2022 and the subsequent need for policy adjustments. He said that despite setbacks, Sri Lanka has emerged strong in a short span of time, a feat he attributed to the country’s strong institutions, democracy, and independent judiciary. The Minister expressed confidence in overcoming difficulties and highlighted the Government’s commitment to creating an investor-friendly environment.
In relation to Sri Lanka’s foreign policy, he emphasised the nation’s dedication to upholding an independent foreign policy and engaging with countries exclusively on commercial terms. Articulating that ‘in a multipolar world, Sri Lanka understands that Sri Lanka needs everyone to work with’, he expressed optimism about the growing influence of the Global South. This alignment positions Sri Lanka to effectively address challenges and seize opportunities in the evolving multipolar landscape. Foreign Minister Sabry extended an invitation to foreign investors, encouraging them to explore the myriad of opportunities in Sri Lanka. He highlighted the nation’s robust institutions, democratic stability, and strategic location as compelling factors for investment consideration.
The business roundtable provided a platform for open dialogue, and contributes to the ongoing efforts to position Sri Lanka as an attractive destination for investment, trade, and economic cooperation.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka is currently focused on further strengthening the country’s trade ties with other countries. Apart from reviewing and revamping the country’s existing trade agreements with other countries, the government of Sri Lanka has also initiated business roundtables between Sri Lankan and foreign business chambers as part of the programme to develop trade ties. Sri Lanka already enjoys many trade agreements as well as trade concessions with other countries while exploring new such agreements as well. With Sri Lanka’s economy once again on a growth path while the country targets on becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region, Sri Lanka continues to attract the attention of foreign businesses/investors who are exploring new business/investment opportunities in the country. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean has also added to the country’s attraction as a business destination. Given the growth and business potential as well as the many incentive schemes offered to foreign investors in Sri Lanka, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240215/Z_1

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