Aug 26, Colombo: A 19 member business and investment delegation from Israel has arrived in Sri Lanka to explore the business and investment opportunities in the island.
The multi - sector delegation of Israeli businessmen led by the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Israel Sarath Wijesinghe, held a business forum at the Grand Oriental Hotel this morning (26) with the participation of Sri Lankan businessmen.
Opening the Forum the Ambassador Wijesinghe has presented the business potentials available for Sri Lankans in Israel and the business and investment potentials available for Israeli businessmen and investors in Sri Lanka.
Delivering the keynote address of the Forum, the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that there has been a vast change in the business and investment climate in Sri Lanka after the end of the war and the economic fundamentals in the country have become very strong in the past four years.
"Sri Lanka is accessing the world and the world in turn is accessing Sri Lanka," he noted.
Cabraal pointed out that Israel has made significant progress in the fields of agriculture, water and land and Sri Lanka can offer vast areas for agricultural development, ample water resources and large extents of land with potential for development.
The Governor also highlighted that Sri Lanka has two main well developed harbors with several more harbors being developed and two international airports.
Sri Lanka is also developing the knowledge hub, which is supported by a large number of educated youth, the Governor of Central Bank noted, adding that Sri Lanka's literacy rate of the country in the IT field has increased 10 fold in recent years and growing steadily.
He pointed out that Sri Lanka has a stable banking environment and the country’s main Bank has opened up branches in many countries including London. Doing business in Sri Lanka has become easier as indicated by the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking Sri Lanka at the 81st position.
During the visit from August 26 to 30, the Israeli delegation will have one-to-one meetings with Sri Lanka's Investment Authority, Board of Investment (BOI), and Sri Lankan businessmen to enhance economic ties.
As a part of the business tour, the delegation will participate in a seminar and a series of private meetings organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, visit companies and factories, and hold talks with ministers and senior government officials.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Mr. Anura Siriwardena and Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon Mr. Razik Zarook also addressed the forum.
The Forum and the visit of the delegation have been organized by the Israeli-Asia Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Israeli Chamber of Commerce.