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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2587

‘Sri Lanka will be fast growing’-Accenture

Colombo, 07 August, (Asiantribune.com):

As a visiting top level French biz and construction delegation warmed up for Lanka entry, a global investment consulting giant declared that Sri Lanka ‘will be very fast growing’ on 06 August.

Sri Lanka meanwhile stressed of the unprecedented levels of ownership and openness allowed for foreign investments here. “What we’ve seen so far in Sri Lanka are very encouraging-with highly literate people at above 90%. Sri Lanka is such a good destination for BPOs that even the global ATM processing of an international bank is done right here. Accenture believes that Sri Lanka will be very fast growing” stressed Lotfi Kibboua (Consultant & Business Analyst, Accenture France, Paris) on 06 August in Colombo.

Accenture Consultant Kibboua was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) as the spokesperson for the visiting top level French biz and construction investment delegation to Colombo on 06 August in Colombo.

The visiting French business and construction investment delegation held an in-depth discussion session with Minister Bathiudeen and his top officials on 06 August at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Colombo 3. Joining Minister Bathiudeen on 06 August morning were Anura Siriwardene (Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce), and R D S Kumararatne (DG, Department of Commerce) and officials of Department of Commerce and Ministry of External Affairs.

• • ‘100% ownership for foreign investments’-Rishad
• • Top French construction delegation in town
• • Airbus assembly factory designer firm in Colombo
• • Lanka-France trade at $ 320 Mn

Among the French firms in the 06 August business delegation meeting were Accenture (Ireland headquartered global investment consultancy firm), Cardete & Huet (France’ biggest architecture firm), Atelier D’ Architecture JL Hesters and Barlatier (Architecture), Arkepolis (Architecture/Urban Development), Vinci Construction Grand Projects (Investment Consulting), and BNP Paribas and L’agence and Consulting (Investment Consulting).

According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, in 2013, bilateral trade with France stood at $320.78Mn growing by 8.25% from 2012’s $ 329.03 Mn.

“We thank Minister Bathiudeen and his officials for promptly making available the information we need” said Lotfi Kibboua (Consultant & Business Analyst, Accenture France, Paris), responding to Minister Bathiudeen, and added: “Accenture already works with Sri Lanka’s Brandix and therefore we know of your standards. What we’ve seen so far in Sri Lanka are very encouraging-with highly literate people at above 90%. In my firm too some of the best workers are Sri Lankans-in that, the proof of quality. Sri Lanka is such a good destination for BPOs that even ATM processing of an international bank is done here. Accenture believes that Sri Lanka will be very fast growing. This week hopefully we will be able to find out how and where exactly to invest here.”

Addressing the delegation, Minister Bathiudeen said: “Thanks to the vision the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we are expecting 7.5% GDP growth this year. Many international investors are now showing renewed interest on Sri Lanka. Last year we attracted over $ 1.4Bn FDI. However, FDI from France is not at satisfactory level, we therefore request the French companies present here to take the message of Sri Lanka’s conducive investment policies and environment to your business community to attract more investments into Sri Lanka in view of the potentials as a result of FTA’s with India, Pakistan and the forthcoming FTA with China.”

The Minister added: “One hundred percent of participation-ownership-is allowed by our government for the foreign investor on their valuable investments especially when they enter priority sectors such as tourism development. Foreign investments are given constitutional guarantees of safety with 100% profit repatriation, "

The Minister further said: "That is the kind of opportunity available for you here! As most of the of you here today are companies providing architectural services, investment consulting and construction related activities, I wish to highlight that tourism and tourism related infrastructure, urban development, mixed development projects, real estate and housing, apparel sector, rubber based industries, business outsourcing industries as areas of interest and strong potential for you. When it comes to our North and East provinces, we encourage you to consider water supply projects in the coming two years, since there is a great need for them. Also, I stress that business interaction between the business communities of both countries is not adequate at present. We therefore should explore means and avenues where we can enhance and strengthen our trade and investment relations.”

R D S Kumararatne (DG, Department of Commerce), detailing Sri Lanka’s emerging hub potentials, said: “French investors setting up here have great export opportunities facilitated by rapidly developing port infrastructures. With rapid development of Colombo and Magam Ruhunupura ports, we believe that the doubling of container shipments to 10 Mn would be possible soon.”

Asian Tribune -

Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka-far right) peruses the project portfolio of a French firm given to him by Lotfi Kibboua (Consultant & Business Analyst, Accenture France, Paris-second from right) on 06 August in Colombo.
Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka-centre) addresses the visiting French delegation on 06 August in Colombo.
Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka-far left) addresses the visiting French delegation on 06 August in Colombo.
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