Sri Lanka’s EY and HSBC hold virtual investors forum for Chinese investors
With Sri Lanka engaged in an aggressive campaign to attract foreign investors in a bid to encourage foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the country, EY and HSBC have collectively hosted a virtual investment forum recently for Chinese businesses seeking investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China Dr. Palitha Kohona, delivering his keynote speech, has reportedly stated that Sri Lanka must identify strategic opportunities and market them under the concept of ‘Sri Lanka as an Investment Destination’, and not merely as being the pearl of the Indian Ocean.
The ambassador has explained how Sri Lanka’s green credentials could help attract more versatile investors alongside the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) and other initiatives, such as the development of infrastructure.
During the discussion, emphasis had been placed on how China was able to grow its economy from CNY70t. to CNY101t. within just four to five years. Despite the compounding downfall in many global economies due to the Covid-19 pandemic, China has reportedly grown its economy by 2.3%. In the very same year and had also eliminated poverty 10 years ahead of the UNSDG target. All this excels at large opportunities to neighbouring countries and Sri Lanka could strategically optimise benefits by means of more exports and attract more investments, according to local media reports.
Delivering the opening remarks, HSBC China Senior Executive Vice President and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Eddie Ching has reportedly noted how HSBC has over time extended support to Chinese investors through its business portfolio and would continue to innovate to meet market needs.
HSBC is the first bank to dedicate a unit to belt and road initiative (BRI) in Asia and HSBC’s strategic relationship for the BRI council helps them to bring about a wealth of expertise within the domain. Speaking at the Forum Mukhtar Hussain, Group General Manager, Head of BRI and Business Corridors, Asia Pacific of HSBC has reportedly noted more on the importance of BRI initiatives and HSBC role in BRI strategy.
Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala, as a guest speaker, has reportedly noted the macroeconomic update and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, he has pointed out that the tax regime will remain consistent for the next five years and that many policy reforms are underway to help improve the ease of doing business in the country.
He has further been quoted as saying, ‘’Sri Lanka’s talent pool is also amongst our credentials proving its quality and ingenuity over decades. Hence, other investment opportunities spanning the development of infrastructure, ICT industries, agri-processing and aquafarming are amongst key strategic investment opportunities.”
Duminda Hulangamuwa — Partner and Head of Tax, EY Sri Lanka and Maldives and Julie Hao — Partner, TAX, EY (China) Advisory, have together, presented the regulatory, legal and tax framework in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is fast becoming a business/investment destination for Chinese businesses/investors. Sri Lanka figures prominently in China’s belt and road initiative (BRI) and China is also a key development partner of the island. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have poised it as a business hub in the South Asian region. Given Sri Lanka’s expanding economy, there are business/investment opportunities covering all key economic sectors in the country.
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