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POSTED AT 07:00 AM 11-07-2018

SL can gain more from BRI with effective negotiations

Image courtesy: News First

Sri Lanka can gain more from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) if the Lankan authorities could effectively carry out the negotiations with Chinese counterparts, Managing Director, Hairong Investments International Pvt Ltd, Sri Lanka, Dr. Palitha Kohona said in Colombo yesterday.

He said, through BRI China would invest over US$ 6 trillion in infrastructure development mainly in Asian and African regions and Sri Lanka should carefully negotiate with China. Kohona’s company Hairong is into promoting local business and investment opportunities. Hairong Investments is also looking at promoting Sri Lanka and is planning to host the ‘Sri Lanka Economic and Investment Conclave 2018’ (SEIC), a Business Matchmaking event - at the Sri Lanka Embassy premises in Beijing, on September 18.

Around 50 Sri Lanka companies are expected to participate in this event and areas of business interests in this event include ICT, hotels and resorts, tourism, transport and aviation, oil refining, industrial, digital, banking and finance, manufacturing, energy and infrastructure.

He also said his company is looking at building a large convention facility in Sri Lanka which would be beneficial to woo the BRI MICE market to Sri Lanka.

Speaking at an event at the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) he said Sri Lanka has a good bargaining power due to its unique geographical location which is in the key route of BRI.

He said already Pakistan has been successful in getting US$ 56 billion infrastructure investments through BRI while for the first time after 40 years African countries too are gaining. “A world bank report has mentioned that African economies are growing and BRI is the key to it,” he said.

Dr. Kohona said already over US$ 6 billion Chinese investments are in Sri Lanka and more could be obtained. He said China is here for business and this message should also be passed on to the people concerned.

President NCCSL Sujeewa Samaraweera said they will continue to increase business links with China and businesses with China would continue in the future as well. 

Shirajiv Sirimane

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