The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) hosted a briefing for President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning in New York City.
The briefing was organised with two primary objectives. One was to gather representatives from major U.S. companies that are either already investing in Sri Lanka or have an interest in exploring potential investment opportunities in the country. These representatives were given the opportunity to brief the President about their company’s interests as well as discuss with the President and other high-level Sri Lankan officials a variety of matters pertaining to doing business in Sri Lanka. Secondly, the Sri Lankan officials at the meeting had the opportunity to brief this private sector group of the opportunities and benefits available in Sri Lanka.
While stating that “peace and stability” in the country is the greatest benefit Sri Lanka can offer to incoming companies, President Rajapaksa also noted that the country is also able to offer a high-skilled workforce.
Some of the sectors that were highlighted as having immense potential for new investments were the services, healthcare and tourism sectors. Representatives from a number of leading U.S. companies, including those such as Boeing, Citigroup and Exxon Mobil, participated in the briefing, many of whom expressed interest in entering the Sri Lankan market.
BCIU is an international business association that was launched in 1955 as an initiative of the White House under U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The organisation promotes commerce and diplomacy as a non-partisan facilitator of dialogueand alliances for the world’s leading businesses and political leaders.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Members of Parliament Mr. A.H.M. Azwer and Mr. J.R.P. Suriyapperuma, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam and the Deputy Permanent Representative Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva also attended the briefing.