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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 75

Aggressive investment promotion drive in China

Beijing, 08 April, ( The Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing together with the Board of Investment (BOI) successfully held two seminars on “Investment Opportunities for Chinese Entrepreneurs on 27th and 31st March 2009 at the Embassy.

The third and forth respectively in a series of Seminars that have been launched since January this year, on a campaign for an aggressive investment promotion drive, this forum attracted more than 90 Entrepreneurs from specially selected sectors such as Infrastructure, Real Estate, Fisheries and Agriculture, Paper Manufacturing, Steel, Leather Products, Solar & Energy and Cosmetics and Telecommunication. The Country Presentations clearly projected the lucrative sectors identified for potential Chinese investment further explaining the benefit and concessions granted to them.

At the conclusion of the seminar there were Instant responses from the audience particularly in Leather, Steel and Solar power sectors culminating in the signing of letters of intent with BOI to setup joint venture operations with local partners in Sri Lanka. Further the entrepreneurs showed a keen interest in establishing links with Sri Lankan business community and the desire in joining a business delegation to visit Sri Lanka to explore further the business environment.

The program was launched under the Mahinda Chinthana policy directive with emphasis on rural development, poverty alleviation and the need to develop Sri Lanka Products in the global market and assist small & medium scale industries.

China’s overseas Investment is rapidly increasing with the progressive implementation of the "Going Global" strategy prompting the Chinese enterprises to be more enthusiastic in investing abroad and their investments occurring mostly in the Asian Region. Chinese business investment is concentrated in three fields: (1) communications, information systems, and other information technology industries, (2) trade, wholesale, and retail industries related to market expansion, and (3) resource development. Materials and applications (M&A) and profit reinvestment are the rapidly growing methods of investment.

Government promotion and support, low-cost mass production, and other fields that Chinese businesses excel in lie behind this boom, in investment abroad. Even presently Chinese companies have been stepping up investments abroad despite global financial turmoil and have signed a many of energy and resource deals. The Ministry of Commerce has pledge that China would send more business missions abroad this year to look for investment opportunities. It is evident that In future, with Chinese economic development and the augmentation of corporate capability, Chinese enterprises' foreign investment abroad will continue to expand even more.

Investment by Chinese enterprises in Sri Lanka is still low, mainly due to system limitations, lack of understanding of the conditions of Sri Lanka for investment. Well aware of these facts and using the favorable condition that has been created by the "Going Global" Strategy the Embassy launched this program in order to create awareness among the Chinese Companies about the positive environment and opportunities in Sri Lanka and lure them to Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Karunatilaka Amunugama in his opening remarks said that the Government not only provides facilities to improve products for the export market but also encourages Chinese entrepreneurs to establish production/processing facilities in Sri Lanka. Noting the benefits for potential investors, Ambassador emphasized the major infrastructure drive covering sea ports, airports, roads, electricity, rail transport undertaken in Sri Lanka with Chinese assistance in order to make Sri Lanka a more conducive Investment location.

Ambassador spoke of the presence of Special Economic Zone for Chinese Investors in Sri Lanka and invited them to take advantage of the vast opportunities afforded to them in Sri Lanka, particularly with the Eastern & Northern rebuilding and reconstruction drive.

Explaining their experience in Sri Lanka Mr Qu WenChu Vice President of Huawei Technologies attending the seminar gave a first hand account of the companies expansion strategy in Sri Lanka and also the investor friendly policies practiced by the Government. He stated that “ our investments in Sri Lanka is one of the best investment decisions we have made".

Ms Feng the Vice President of the China Light Industry Council that under took a visit to Sri Lank recently also spoke very enthusiastically on the Sri Lanka Situation and encouraged Chinese to set up ventures in Sri Lanka.

Mr Kulasekera Deputy Director General of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka made a presentation of the Investment opportunities citing the facilities accrued under the Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and India availing of numerous advantages for entry into the vast Indian market, as well as to Pakistan with similar facilities with the Free Trade Agreement with Pakistan. Mr Kulasekera also spoke about benefits of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), when it is fully operationalised.

The European Union (EU) has offered duty free concessions to 7200 products imported from Sri Lanka under their GSP+ scheme. Sri Lanka is the only country in the Asian region which has been offered such a concession. Furthermore, the anti dumping duties imposed on China for certain products by the EU would make Sri Lanka products competitive in the international market. All these facets were highlighted in order to attract investors who were present at the forum.

Mr. Dickmen Deputy Director General of BOI, Mr Alexi Gunasekera Commercial Counselor Embassy of Sri Lanka and Mr. Senaka De Silva CEO SAARA OS Leather Sri Lanka were also present at the seminar.

The Sri Lanka Embassy will conduct Trade and Investment promotional meetings on a regular basis in Beijing and the provinces in collaboration with the China Council for promotion of international Trade and its Sub Councils and other related Trade Chambers to promote Sri Lanka as investment Destination and also to promote Sri Lanka products to the Chinese market. The China Light Industries Association and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade assisted Sri Lanka in organizing these two seminars.

- Asian Tribune -

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