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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Will channel investments through ‘Shine Lanka’ – Prime Minister

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The Indian CEO Forum-Sri Lanka (ICF) called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday (6 where the Prime Minister stressed the need for further growth in bilateral trade and increase Indian investments in new areas and introduce Indian techno knowhow.

He thanked the Indian companies for their significant input and support to the Sri Lankan economy by way of bringing substantial investments into the country, export earnings, employment generation, and contribution of treasury through direct and indirect taxes.

The CEO team led by Form’s President T.S. Prakash said that the member companies represent diverse industries from automobile, banking, cement, and FMCG to fuel, glass, hospitality, infrastructure, logistics, packaging, paint, and pharmaceuticals.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s proposal to venture into new areas, he said that the ICF has launched ‘Shine Lanka’ platform to promote trade and investments as well as tourism, which has a huge potential.

The Prime Minister briefed the CEOs about the steps taken by the Government to resolve the unprecedented economic crisis faced by the country. Airtel’s Ashish Nanda said that his company has access to over 65 per cent Indian households through mobile telephones and Sri Lanka could promote tourism in the vast Indian market using IT.

The Indian CEOs expressed appreciation over the initial successes made by Sri Lanka in its plans to recover from the economic crisis and emphasised the need to sustain the efforts. They also called for relaxation of some outdated regulations to enhance growth of trade and attract investments.

Prakash said that the Indian companies make a valuable contribution to the economy by providing gainful employment to thousands, providing best-in-class management, technical skills, and contributing substantiality to Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange earnings despite the present economic challenges.

He said that the objective of ICF is to promote economic growth in Sri Lanka through Indian investment, safeguard and strengthen economic co-operation, foster new economic ties between India and Sri Lanka and provide an open forum for business leaders of Indian origin employed with Indian multinationals and Sri Lankan business organisations in Sri Lanka.

The delegation included Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC Past President Umesh Gautam, Vice President Kishore Reddy, (Platinum Realty), Manoj Gupta, (Lanka IOC), Ashish Chandra, (Bharti Airtel), Harikrishnan Sundaram (Colombo West International Terminal), Girish Manjeswar (UltraTech Cement) and Anurag Sharma, (Reckitt). Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake was present.

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