The Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) that will take place in Colombo in November in conjunction with the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) is seen as a great opportunity for Sri Lanka to enlighten the world about the investment potentials in the island.
Addressing a media conference in Colombo yesterday, the Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris said that getting to host the Forum is a great opportunity acquired by Sri Lanka as a nation.
The Forum is the premier business event in the Commonwealth bringing together Heads of Government, Ministers, and top business leaders from around the world and will be attended by over a thousand delegates, according to the Commonwealth Business Council, a co-organizer of the event along with the Government of Sri Lanka.
The Commonwealth Business Forum will be held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo on 12-14 November 2013. The Forum will focus on the theme "Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development: The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean, Pacific, and SAARC".
The CBF will provide the opportunity for the country to enlighten the international community about the investment potentials in Sri Lanka and to showcase the socio economic developments achieved by the country in the post conflict period, the Minister said at the conference yesterday.
The Minister said not only the Commonwealth countries but countries outside the Commonwealth such as China, Russia and Japan will also get the opportunity to participate in the business forum.
"We expect to generate a substantial volume of investment through the Forum," the Minister said.
The Forum will provide a valuable opportunity for high level dialogue on trade and investment between business and government leaders from the Commonwealth and beyond, the organizers say.
It will highlight new global economic partnerships for trade and investment in key sectors across the Commonwealth and beyond, according to the Commonwealth Business Council.
Minister Peiris said the government with the cooperation of the private sector has prepared a series of proposals to enlighten the foreign investors about the economic and investment potentials available in the country.
More than ten heads of state have already expressed their interest in speaking at the CBF, Prof. Peiris said.
A massive exhibition comprising 400 stalls displaying the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of the country will also be held along with the Forum. The exhibition is aimed at establishing a network for the foreign investment to flow into the country and providing opportunity for local entrepreneurs to establish international business relationships.
The Chairman of Commonwealth Business Council Dr, Mohan Kaul addressing the conference said the Forum expects the full cooperation of small and medium scale businesses as well as larger enterprises.
He said that already many international companies have established relationship with Sri Lankan businessmen. In addition, international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will also provide assistance to Sri Lanka, he added.
Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella joining the press conference said the Forum will provide a center stage for Sri Lanka to enlighten the whole world about the investment potentials available in the country.
The Minister requested the cooperation of the media institutions and media personnel to inform the people on the gains that Sri Lanka will achieve from hosting the Commonwealth Business Forum.
The Deputy External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera and the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabral also joined the media conference.