Sri Lanka to be Asia’s next growth haven, states CCC Chairman

Dr. Hans Wijaysuriya, Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), delivering the welcome speech at the forum.

With global economic trends shifting towards Asia the Sri Lankan economy is positioning itself as a safe haven for foreign investors to benefit from growth in the region. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has extended its support and clout to foreign investors in dealing with investments in Sri Lanka that look to capture the growth of the surrounding region.

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Dr. Hans Wijaysuriya noted that it was both government and corporate policy for Sri Lanka to ‘be Asia’s next growth haven. Dr. Wijaysuriya noted that there would be a doubling of the economy over the next decade. He was speaking yesterday, June 7, at the opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka Investor Forum.

The region offers foreign investors provision for 100% foreign ownership in a wide array of asset classes. Repatriations by foreign investors have been unblemished, Dr. Wijaysuriya pointed out and further noted that Sri Lanka intends to abide by the 25 investor protection agreements that it has entered into.

Sri Lanka has developed infrastructure to have multiple deep-sea ports and allocated land and regulatory framework for the development of offshore financial centres. The country is also expected to further liberalise sectors such as energy. Dr. Wijaysuriya highlighted the mature framework for intellectual property and the strength of financial transactions infrastructure. He noted the resilience of the economy with a sharp V-shaped recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sri Lanka leads the region in HDI and has no instances of child labour. Sri Lanka has increasingly looked outwards for future growth. The external sector is integral to the growth model, Dr. Wijaysuriya pointed out and also noted that the country would continue to maintain fiscal discipline and take active measures to manage the growth vs debt model in government spending. The investor forum had participants from 65 countries across 5 continents. The forum looks to actively encourage foreign investment into the tourism sector so as to take advantage of future growth and low valuations.

Sri Lanka will establish a zero-tax policy for Global Information Technology companies that locate in the country. The country will continue to deregulate sectors of the economy. Sri Lanka will allow foreign investment into the healthcare sector with the aim of capturing part of the global healthcare market.

Dr. Wijaysuriya highlighted the strength of the capital markets with the CSE offering a strong platform for foreign portfolio investments. The listed sector offers attractive dividend yields. The forum is only the beginning.

The Ceylon Chamber will look to develop more mutually reinforcing and revolving ventures with foreign parties.