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BOI showcases Sri Lanka to visiting delegation from Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industry



A trade and investment delegation from Korea headed by the President of the Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industries Jung Taek Shin paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Monday Picture by Sudath Silva

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES: The BOI conducted a presentation highlighting the opportunities Sri Lanka offers to investors to a delegation from the Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This was a group of 39 leading business personalities from the industrial city of Busan.

Dhammika Perera, Chairman/ Director General of the BOI welcomed the delegation and made a strong case for Korean investment in Sri Lanka. In his address he spoke of the close relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea which are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Diplomatic Relations.

He also noted that the Republic of Korea is one of the major investors in Sri Lanka and that already 73 companies from that country have set up enterprises in Sri Lanka. The value of Korean investment in Sri Lanka is US$ 72 million and the companies employ 13,180 workers.

In his address to the Busan Chamber representatives Perera gave prominence to some Korean success stories such as the Keangnam Group which has been in Sri Lanka since 1980 and has been active in property development. This company built the Royal Park apartment complex and is currently building the new US$ 60 million luxury apartment complex at Braybrooke Place.

Another success story he mentioned was the Doosan Group that operates a large scale steel mill under the name of CHICO. Perera also appraised the Chamber delegation on the sectors targeted for investment by the BOI such as auto parts, rubber based products, light engineering sectors for the export market.

He highlighted the advantages offered by the Free Trade Agreements Sri Lanka has entered into with India and with Pakistan as well as the EU- GSP + Agreement. These agreements offer investors the possibility of access to the huge markets of India, Pakistan and the European Union respectively.

This was followed by a comprehensive presentation on Sri Lanka’s potential for investment which highlighted the country’s natural and human resources, her position as a business hub, and the incentives offered to investors by the BOI.

The presentation focused on Sri Lanka’s liberal economy and the international agreements ensuring the rights of investors.

Other important speakers at the function were Mrs. Manel De Silva, Director General (Commerce) who conducted detailed presentation on the international agreements Sri Lanka has entered into and how they promote business opportunities by providing access to markets.

J. J. Choi, Chairman of Ceylon Heavy Industries and Construction (CHICO) also addressed the Korean business delegation, describing in a positive light his company’s own operations in Sri Lanka.

CHICO plans to produce in 2007 84,000 metric tones of steel. Choi added that CHICO was able to acquire raw materials easily, modernise their work process and also improve on the quality of their product.

Thosapala Hewage, Secretary, Ministry of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion were also present at this function. The BOI officials participating were A. M. C. Kulasekera, Deputy Director General (Investment), C. Ignatius, Director (Promotion), Kirthi Jayasinghe, Executive Assistant (Promotion) and Dilip S. Samarasinghe, Director (Media & Publicity).

Busan is the second largest city of the Republic of Korea.The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Busan is one of the main chambers in Korea.The visiting delegation is led by the Chamber’s President Jung- Taek Shin, who is the Chairman of a steel company and also the Consul of Sri Lanka since 2006. Trade between the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka is worth US$ 300 million while an estimated 7,000 Korean nationals visit Sri Lanka.

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