Sri Lanka’s Port City Colombo SEZ showcased at Commonwealth Business Forum 2022 Kigali, Rwanda.
Daily FT: CHEC Port City Colombo in collaboration with the Colombo Port City Economic Commission successfully introduced the Special Economic Zone to 50 plus potential investors and members at a specially curated breakfast meeting held at the Business Forum Event.
The event was a global platform for Sri Lanka’s first service-oriented Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to be showcased in the Business Forum, which was held in Kigali, Rwanda in June this year.
As a strategic partner of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), Port City Colombo participated as a proud knowledge partner of the Commonwealth Business Forum, held alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, which was the first and largest, in-person gathering for governments and businesses across the Commonwealth since the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHOGM 2022 attracted over 1,700 delegates from over 90 countries. Additionally, the Commonwealth has lately embarked on driving forward businesses and cultivating synergies amongst its member nations whilst also expanding upon the member nations of the Commonwealth itself.The opening comments were given by CWEIC Deputy Chairman Sir Hugo Swire, followed by a keynote address by CHEC Port City Colombo Deputy Managing Director Thulci Aluwihare.
Sir Hugo, in his opening address stated: “It’s a very exciting development, despite the current economic situation prevailing in the country, the Port City SEZ is ring fenced from that.”
The panel also consisted of the Director General of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission who provided insights on the Commission’s role in the project and further also addressed some of the key misconceptions pertaining to the project. The event was well received by the audience and generated positive feedback on the overall unique features and positioning of the Port City SEZ which will be a game changer in the region.
It was clearly highlighted that the investor confidence was primarily driven by the Port City Economic Commission engaging with global consultants for providing best practices for ease of doing business, banking and ring fencing regulations which will ensure independent functioning of business activities within the zone. During the Business Forum, senior management of CPCC and the CPCEC had meaningful one-on-one dialogues with leading institutions and leaders from the business community that cited a Special Economic Zone in Colombo as paramount in attracting Foreign Direct investment. A common topic discussed with most investors was the current thinking on economically ring fencing the SEZ with robust regulations to ensure impact of current macroeconomic shocks of the country is minimised and the risks can be managed suitably within the zone. As per the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act, 100% of development capital and business capital required to be raised overseas which allows for such supportive ring fencing regulations.
The Colombo Port City project in Sri Lanka is one of the main development programmes undertaken by the country to take the island to the next level of development. The project has also presented many business/investment opportunities to the discerning investor looking for the next best opportunity. Given Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country and the plan to position the country as an emerging business destination in the South Asian region, Sri Lanka is fast becoming an attractive business/investment destination. Also, Sri Lanka figures prominently in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Despite the many challenges faced by the country in the past few years, Sri Lanka’s economy has shown great resilience and is on the recovery path with the country’s private sector recording a growth momentum and recording profits. With all these movements, Sri Lanka’s key economic sectors are on a growth path opening up new business/investment opportunities.
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