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Scope for increasing two-way trade with Indonesia

The Investment and Business Seminar jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Jakarta and The Chamber Of Commerce and Industry Indonesia was held yesterday at the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce Auditorium.

This event, the first of its kind to be held by the BOI of Sri Lanka in Indonesia was made possible by the initiatives taken by Major General (Retd.) Nanda Mallawaarachchi with the support of the Sri Lanka Indonesia Business Council.

Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Indonesia Paul Mukundan, said that there is scope for increasing the two way trade and investment between the two countries in the wake of cessation of the 30 year war.

The Chief Guest, MP, Senior Advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa has invited the participants to have a hard look at new investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, particularly in the North and the East of the country, where additional land area and sea coast has been regained after the war.

He also mentioned that the Government is keen to win the hearts and minds of the people of the Northern province through economic reconstruction and rehabilitation for which substantial foreign investment is required.

He said with regard to foreign investment polices, all political parties in Sri Lanka have a consensus. Further the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the BOI Agreement sufficiently protects the interests of the foreign investors so that any change in the Government in Sri Lanka or budgetary proposals would not affect the concessions and the incentives granted to the foreign investors.

With regard to investment opportunities in specific sectors, Rajapaksa highlighted the manufacturing of textile fabric for the apparel industry in Sri Lanka and also for the uniforms of school children. It was also pointed out by him that with the large extents of land available in the North and the East of Sri Lanka, commercial scale agriculture based on the out-grower system is highly recommended.

Chairman, BOI Dhammika Perera, said that despite the global economic recession, Sri Lanka has managed to achieve a growth rate of 6 percent last year and also successfully attracted foreign direct investment of USD 889 million. These achievements were the direct results of pursuing the vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the 10 year development plan of the Government. The Chairman BOI identified investments in health care, higher education, shopping and residential apartment complexes, rubber tyres and auto components, agriculture and food processing as most promising sectors for foreign investors in Sri Lanka.

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