Anticipating a large number of foreign business delegates at the upcoming Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) 2013 that will take place alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November, Sri Lanka has agreed to open more avenues for investors.
During a discussion held earlier last week with the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) Chairman Dr. Mohan Kaul has requested the Sri Lankan government to open more opportunities for the foreign business community.
Dr. Kaul has pointed out that potentially the Forum could generate over US$ 2 billion worth Foreign Direct Investments for Sri Lanka over a period of time after the meeting.
The Commonwealth Business Forum, jointly organized by the CBC and the Sri Lankan government, will take place in Colombo Nov. 12-14 under the theme "Partnership for Wealth Creation and Social Development: The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean, Pacific, and SAARC."
The CBC Chairman has also discussed identifying areas in the island suitable for investment and inviting potential investors to visit them.
Dr. Kaul and the Minister have agreed that building expressways, developing the textile industry, power generation, establishing a village for handicrafts and infrastructure development are among the many areas to which the investors can be attracted.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to promote and market Sri Lanka as an ideal place for investments," the Chairman of CBC has said.
Around 1,000 delegates form 65 countries are expected to participate in the Forum, making it largest ever business gathering in Sri Lanka. Some of the participants are from countries outside the Commonwealth such as China, Russia and Japan.
According to the organizers, the Forum will enable a diverse business networking opportunity for the participants to share a common platform and have the unique opportunity to discuss potential projects in the fastest growing markets in the world.
Representatives from key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, education, information technology and energy, among others, are expected to be present at the Forum.
The CBC Chairman has also Dr. Kaul confirmed the participation of the Canadian business community in the CBF despite Canada's decision to boycott the main summit.
According to Minister Rajapaksa, the participants, representing the chambers of commerce, the private sector and governments have already registered to attend the Forum.