27th September 2010, www.dailynews.lk
While on his official visit to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly, President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with leading American business leaders at a luncheon to outline emerging opportunities for investment in Sri Lanka.
Business executives from a variety of industries, including the aerospace and defence community, the hospitality and tourism industry, and beverage industry attended the luncheon held at New York City’s Helmsley Hotel. Executives from the Coca Cola Co, the Boeing Co, Google, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts were among the nearly 100 Business leaders, analysts, representatives of Chambers of Commerce and industry present.
Amidst his busy schedule President Rajapaksa mingled with the American Business leaders meeting and greeting each person individually and requesting them to focus new interest in Sri Lanka as an investment opportunity.
Members of the US business community shared the view of a key representative of the pharmaceutical industry giant Pfizer Inc., that this forum has the potential to grow into a US-Sri Lanka business council to bring together companies and government.
“Companies like Pfizer want to invest in emerging markets like Sri Lanka,” the Pfizer representative said, noting that the business luncheon allowed corporate executives to meet government officials and Sri Lankan business leaders.
“It is a great way to start a dialogue,” he said. External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris in his keynote address said Sri Lanka boasts an economy with strong fundamentals and a market poised for continued growth and international investment.
Noting the nation’s promising economic future, Prof Peiris said “Sri Lanka is today, without any exaggeration, one of the world’s best destinations for investment. We are on the threshold of an economic renaissance in Sri Lanka.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Asia Department Executive Director Esperanza Gomez Jelalian noted the Chamber’s support for Sri Lanka.