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Thursday, March 08, 2012 - 6.40 GMT
Investors give vote of confidence to Sri Lanka as investment centre – President

 

Presence of investors today is a strong vote of confidence in Sri Lanka as a good investment centre and location for international and oceanic trade, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a message to the 12th International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) commenced at BMICH this morning.

You are here today, with a measure of confidence in Sri Lanka that has not been diminished by false propaganda that is currently spread by those who are trying to prevent investment flowing to our country, the message read on the President's behalf by Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation Dr. Sarath Amunugama added.

It is my belief that the large international presence at this forum and the very large participation at the International Air Freight Shipping and Logistics Exhibition that is being held together with this forum is a clear indication of the new awareness in the world of the new investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

We are aware that in the keen competition for development related investment transport and logistics play a very important role. This has led us to give the highest priority to the most rapid and effective development of transport in every aspect. You will see this in our development of roads and highways, bridges, expressways ports and airports, the message further said.

These developments are carried out in keeping with a development plan that seeks to make Sri Lanka the key Logistics Centre in the South Asian Region. Towards this end we have established three investment and industrial zones associated with five ports and harbours in the country. Similarly, we have commenced the establishment of a fully consolidated logistics centre in the Hambantota District with the combined activity of the Hambantota Port and the international airport being constructed there, President's message said.

The IAPH founded in November 1955 under the motto "World Peace through World Trade, World Trade through World Ports", today, as the global alliance of the world port community, represents some 200 ports and 140 port related organizations of about 90 countries across the world. The Association meets every two years at its World Port Conference, the largest gathering of the world port community.

Full text of the message:

I am happy to be present with you at this important gathering that marks the 12th Asia/Oceanic Regional Meeting and Port Forum of the International Association of Ports and Harbours.

Sri Lanka is indeed honoured by the decision of the IAPH to hold this important forum on ocean trade in our country. We have had a long history as the centre of East – West ocean trade in the past being a key port on the Silk Route. Today, with Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the ocean routes of Asia and Oceania a forum of this nature could contribute much to the socio-economic development of our region, as well as make an important impact on efforts to ease the current global economic crisis.

It is significant that after the conclusion of a thirty year battle against terror that had the most adverse impact on our country, Sri Lanka is now moving in the direction of rapid development under conditions of peace and political stability.

We have identified the essential needs for investment in the development process and have laid emphasis on large scale infrastructure development. These relate to highways, power, ports and aviation and the sustainable development of our valued natural assets.

We are aware that in the keen competition for development related investment transport and logistics play a very important role. This has led us to give the highest priority to the most rapid and effective development of transport in every aspect. You will see this in our development of roads and highways, bridges, expressways ports and airports.

These developments are carried out in keeping with a development plan that seeks to make Sri Lanka the key Logistics Centre in the South Asian Region. Towards this end we have established three investment and industrial zones associated with five ports and harbours in the country. Similarly, we have commenced the establishment of a fully consolidated logistics centre in the Hambantota District with the combined activity of the Hambantota Port and the international airport being constructed there.

In addition we are expanding and improving other port facilities in the country, such as Galle and Trincomalee, proceeding with the north - eastern port development at Oluvil, and also speedily restoring the northern port at Kankesanthurai. All this is being done in keeping with the highest and most modern international standards and technological advances.

These are intended to provide the best facilities for investors who are looking for opportunities in the new conditions of peace and progress in Sri Lanka.

It is my belief that the large international presence at this forum and the very large participation at the International Air Freight Shipping and Logistics Exhibition that is being held together with this forum is a clear indication of the new awareness in the world of the new investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

You are here today, with a measure of confidence in Sri Lanka that has not been diminished by false propaganda that is currently spread by those who are trying to prevent investment flowing to our country. Your presence here today shows the failure of the efforts of those who still support the agenda of separatist terror that prevented development in Sri Lanka for more than three decades. You are a strong vote of confidence in Sri Lanka as a good investment centre and location for international and oceanic trade.

As much as we are encouraged by your presence here today, I urge you to make the most careful studies of the progress we are making and earn the best profits by your confident investments in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is open to business especially in ocean-going trade. We are a new centre of opportunity in this vast field of trade. I invite you all to make the best opportunity of this new growth and investment potential in Sri Lanka.

I commend the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for the commendable work done in developing the ports of Sri Lanka, and its good cooperation in working with leading port operators and developers abroad. It is also commendable that the SLPA and the IAPH have organized this event that is of much importance to the development strategy of Sri Lanka.

I wish all foreign participants a pleasant stay in Sri Lanka and trust that you will take with you happy memories of the hospitality and friendship of our people, the beauty of our country and the increasing opportunities for mutual progress.






 
 
 
   
   
     
   
   

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