Members of the Indian CEO Forum-Sri Lanka have called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to promote trade and investments through ‘Shine Sri Lanka’.
Premier Gunawardena speaking at the discussion at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday (6) highlighted the need for further growth in bilateral trade and increasing Indian investments in new areas, where Indian technology know-how can be introduced.
The Prime Minister 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 to the treasury through direct and indirect taxes.
The CEO team led by President TS Prakash stated that 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 the ICF has launched the ‘Shine Lanka’ platform to promote trade and investments as well as tourism, which has major potential.
The Prime Minister briefed the CEO’s of the steps taken by the government to solve the unprecedented economic crisis faced by the country.
Airtel’s Ashish Nanda said his company has access to over 65% Indian households through mobile telephones and Sri Lanka can 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 such efforts.
They also called for relaxation of some outdated regulations to enhance growth of trade and attract investments.
Prakash said the Indian companies make a valuable contribution to the economy by providing employment to thousands, providing best-in-class management, technical skills, and contributing substantiality to Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange earnings despite the current economic challenges.
He said the objective of ICF is to promote economic growth in Sri Lanka through Indian investment, safeguard and strengthen existing 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.