Capitalise on lost opportunities
Tycoon Harry Jayawardena calls for more BoI
concessions for global players:
Sri Lanka still has an opening to capitalise on lost opportunities to
woo top investors and achieve economic prosperity Chairman Lanka
Distillers and Company and business magnate Harry Jayawardena said.
Speaking at the Business Today Top 10 awards ceremony at the
Presidential Secretariat yesterday he said that if Vietnam can do it Sri
Lanka too could follow suit. He said that the very countries that bombed
Vietnam are investing in that country and Sri Lanka should seriously
look at inviting more top global companies and they should be given more
The first opportunity was lost when Sri Lanka was ahead of Singapore
in the 1950's and the Country did not concentrate on the shipping
sector. "The second was when the decision makers failed to invite
entrepreneurs who were leaving Hong Kong when it was transferred to
Countries such as Canada, India and Singapore seized this
opportunity," he said. Jayawardena also said that when the open economy
was introduced 1977 the then authorities should have made a more
aggressive approach to woo more investors.
Permanent peace is a must for economic development and said that he
was saddened to note that the victories in the Eastern Province have got
He also said that he forecast a lean period for the travel industry
and decided to venture in to both India and the Maldives and the move
would pay off soon. "I think it is time for local companies go global,"
Ceylon Tobacco and Distilleries are the only two companies from the
manufacturing sector that had continuously qualified to be in the
Business Today Top 10. Distilleries returned to the top of the list
after having lost its position to John Keells Holdings last year.
The Bukit Darah, the holding company of the Carsons Group with
further interests overseas entered the Business Today TOP 10 list last
year and continued to stay on it, at ninth position in the year 2005 -
Analyst Keith Bernard who made the keynote address said that as a
country Sri Lanka is gifted with a pool of talent and strong business
leaders that have shown resilience in the face of adversity.
"The answer to the challenges posed today as you would agree is not
to stay complaining or drifting in hope, but finding the foresight and
courage that you are endowed with to push steadfastly forward - as the
corporate front runners you have to lead the way," he said.
To be a Top 10 winner all candidates must be a public quoted
companies. Companies active in the Colombo Stock Exchange are selected
and that list is further narrowed in terms of turnover.
BT Options publishes Business Today, Explore Sri Lanka and Target and
operates BT Store.
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake also participated.
Business Today Top 10 for year 2005 - 2006 were: 1) Distilleries
Company of Sri Lanka, 2) Sri Lanka Telecom, 3) Dialog Telekom, 4) John
Keells Holdings, 5) Commercial Bank, 6) Hatton National Bank, 7) Ceylon
Tobacco Company, 8) Aitken Spence and Company, 9) Bukit Darah and 10)