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Microsoft comes to Sri Lanka

by Sudarshana Perera

Microsoft Corporation, USA will set up its own subsidiary "Microsoft Sri Lanka Pvt Ltd" in Colombo next January. The new move targeted to accelerate eSriLanka initiative comes as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Sri Lankan Government and Microsoft Corporation last November 5 in USA.

The new deal also targets to establish Sri Lanka as a global centre for ICT excellence.

"Our subsidiary here will mainly focus on execution the provisions of the MoU we have entered while setting up of a point of contact for local ICT industries," said Director of Business Development, APAC Emerging Markets, Microsoft Corporation Faycal Bouchlaghem at a press conference at Hotel Hilton yesterday. Speaking on the Microsoft strategy in the local ICT industry, he said that the corporation will introduce localised window software suited for country's requirements while building a local ICT eco-system to strengthen strong e-government services.

Chairman, ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, Eran Wickramaratne said the nuptial knot between Sri Lanka and Microsoft will in the long-term help in creating a new country image having a vibrant ICT sector.

US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead commended Microsoft Corporation for coming forward to invest in Sri Lanka which is dedicated for liberal economic policies. Lunstead also expressed optimism that the new deal will provide a dynamism for the Government and the private sector. Minster of Economic Reforms, Science and Technology Milinda Moragoda and MD/CEO ICT Agency of Sri Lanka Manju Hathotuwa were also present at the press conference. The MoU was singed in Washington last November 5 by Moragoda with President, Microsoft Corporations, Asia Pacific Region Sanjay Mirchandani in the presence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith.

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