13th March 2011, www.thebottomline.lk
One of the giants in the motor vehicle industry, Japan’s Suzuki Motors is keen on investing in Sri Lanka and one of its top shareholders, Isomi Suzuki has arrived in the island to explore massive investment prospects in Sri Lanka, according to reliable sources.
“Isomi Suzuki will be visiting Hambantota to assess for himself the viability of investing in Hambantota. Japan’s Suzuki Motors have taken stock of the fact that business activity is picking up fast in Hambantota and have expressed their keenness in putting up shop in Hambantota,” an official connected with organising the visit said.
These sources said that prospects of more foreign investments pouring into Sri Lanka look bright with over 35 business-law magnates from India, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia and the Maldives expected to visit Hambantota and explore first hand potential of investing in Sri Lanka on the sidelines of a Biz-Law conference held this week.
“Besides Suzuki Motors, there are foreign garment industry officials also interested in investing in Sri Lanka,” said these sources who predicted that Sri Lanka’s economy would receive a major boost which is already picking up.
They are desirous of looking first hand and apprising themselves of the business climate in Sri Lanka while participating in the Law Asia Business Law Conference which commenced yesterday at Colombo’s Hilton Hotel.
“These law magnates, who will be accompanied by high profile business tycoons, will be wanting to satisfy themselves on the climatic conditions, the resources, finance policies in respect whether they can take their profits out of the country,” an Executive Member of the Law Association of the Asia Pacific Region, Sunil Abeyratne told The Bottom Line.
He said so at a press confab on Tuesday held at the BASL Committee Room of the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka at Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha in connection with the Law Asia Business Law Conference which commenced yesterday at Colombo’s Hilton Hotel.
The Law Asia Business Law Conference is being attended by delegates from 13 regional countries and Sri Lanka is striving to make the most of it to attract foreign investments. It is held every two years and Sri Lanka was given the honour of hosting it for the first time.
The investors will be taken to Hambantota which is now been highly spoken of with the development work there from the port to the world’s largest cricket ground as Sri Lanka’s blooming economic hub.
“We are confident that the forum would enable foreign investors to satisfy themselves as to the conducive investment climate and come in a big way,” said
Abeyratne who was confident that there would be a large scale attraction considering the fact that foreign investors are allowed to take a percentage of their earnings out of the country.
“The idea behind this conference is to satisfy prospective investors that business law is flexible in so much as facilitating foreign investors in Sri Lanka.
The forum will help how to further apply the business law in respect of investments and take it forward from there. We’ll tell investors about the new laws and arbitration to impress upon the business world,” said Sunil Abeyratne, a member of the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPASL).
Furthermore, the forum is giving priority to business economics in trying to strike a balance in labour laws in respect of employees and employers and corporate criminality issues facing companies.
Deputy Solicitor General, Shibly Aziz, who chaired the confab, said that the OASL had stepped in order to synchronise with the government in facilitating a conducive business environment for foreign investors.
“Our role is to ensure that the healthy economic climate in the country after the 30-year-old war is maximised to full potential in promoting economic development with the dawn of a new era. We are using the business law to achieve sustainable and rapid economic growth,” Aziz stressed.
Among those who attended the confab were Mahinda Aluthge, Secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and Attorney-at-Law, Jayantha Pathirana.
Abeyratne is incidentally the only Sri Lankan serving on the Executive Committee of the Law Association of Asia Pacific Region.