Sri Lanka has the potential to become the Switzerland in Asia says head of KPMG in India
Chairman and CEO of KPMG India, Arun M. Kumar has reportedly said that Sri Lanka has the potential to become the Switzerland of Asia, where the world’s major economies work together to power Asian and global economic growth.
“Asia and the world will have a better future when the large economies work together, being sensitive to each other’s interests. What would it take for Sri Lanka to be that Switzerland of Asia where the major countries work together?”
Kumar has made these observations while delivering the Keynote Address at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2018 last week.
Switzerland has maintained a neutral and non aligned stance for centuries, and is home to many headquarters of international institutions, including the World Trade Organization, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
According to Kumar, Sri Lanka’s location is particularly attractive in the context of the ‘free and open’ Indian Ocean envisioned in the emerging Indo-Pacific view of the world.
“Many countries, notably China, India and Japan, are seeking a greater role in developing Sri Lanka’s strategic location between the energy-rich Middle East, Africa and the Straits of Malacca. The US too is not far from considering Sri Lanka a strategic bulwark.”
“Finalizing free trade agreements with many of the major regional powers over the next year or so would be desirable as balancing and enhancing measures. Among these are the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India and FTAs with other countries. The government’s turn towards broader engagement with East Asia recognizes the country’s pivotal position as a strategic asset to both India and China,” he has further noted.
Kumar has called on the Sri Lankan government to actively participate in regional associations to enhance connectivity with Asian countries.
The statement by the head of KPMG India will encourage foreign businesses/investors explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka. It is pertinent to reiterate his comment that Sri Lanka’s location is particularly attractive in the context of the ‘free and open’ Indian Ocean envisioned in the emerging Indo-Pacific view of the world. Also, the many trade pacts and concessions enjoyed by Sri Lanka would add to its attractions where the foreign investors are concerned. Therefore, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore investment ventures in Sri Lanka.
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