Saturday, 22  February 2003  
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Indian tycoon to invest Rs. 4 billion here

by Ravi Ladduwahetty

Renowned business magnate and Indian Member of Parliament Dr. Vijaya Mallya will invest Rs. 4 billion in Sri Lanka for the manufacture of combat craft together with radio and television sets for the Sri Lankan and Indian markets.

The combat craft includes Naval Patrol Craft, yatchs, frigates and also submarines.

Dr. Mallya, has assured Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake that he was proceeding with these investments in Sri Lanka as the investment climate was very conducive in the wake of the peace efforts.

Dr. Mallya had also said that he was looking forward to investing in Sri Lanka soon and commended the Prime Minister for the progress achieved so far in the peace process.

The investment will aim to manufacture patrol craft and fast attack craft for the use in the Navies of both countries. Mallaya hopes to return in three weeks to establish his corporate plan in Sri Lanka, which will be a 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment, Minister Karunanayake told the Daily News last night. Dr. Mallya, who is also the Chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Defence Committee, has told Premier Wickremesinghe that Indian ship yards were currently manufacturing vessels for the Indian Navy and that he would be glad to impart technological transfers to Sri Lanka.

Mr. Mallaya who also owns United Breweries Ltd, has appreciated the upgraded aluminium manufacturing capability of Colombo Dockyard Ltd in small and medium vessels and fast attack craft made for the Sri Lanka Navy which are known popularly as water jets, Minister Karunanayake said.

He has also assured that his investments will cover the manufacture of a range of utilities such as radios and television sets inclusive of spare parts for them for re-export to India and also for the Sri Lankan market.

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