06th April, 2016
Geographic Location and Access to Regional Markets Seen as Top Attractions for Foreign Investors to enter SL – CCC Survey
Sri Lanka’s close proximity to the East – West Trading routes and the easy access to the regional markets in Asia are considered as top factors by investors looking to Invest in Sri Lanka, finds a survey conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The survey, conducted among the prospective investors who attended the Ceylon Chamber’s ‘Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2016’ held during the first week of March 2016, revealed that ‘Access to Regional Markets’ as the top factor of attraction by over one-third of respondents, and ‘Geographical location’ was ranked highest among factors that shape their decision to invest in Sri Lanka.
Among the other factors that investors looked for in Sri Lanka, 18 percent reported ‘Economic policy certainty’, 16 percent reported ‘Political stability’, and 12 percent ‘Low cost of production’. ‘Quality of infrastructure’ was considered as a key factor by only by just 6 percent, possibly indicating that investors perceive infrastructure in the country as having improved, relative to other competing investment destinations they may be exploring.
Meanwhile, ‘tax incentives’ was also a low consideration, as only 6 percent of respondents, said it was a key factor for investment consideration.
“This has important implications for policies around investment attraction. Growing international evidence suggests that tax breaks are low on the priority list among good quality investors, compared to other factors that shape the investment climate like policy predictability and political stability, access to markets, rule of law, finding skilled workers, etc. The fact that, overwhelmingly, the investors we surveyed said that Sri Lanka’s location and access to big markets like India, Pakistan, and eventually China, was a key attraction in their decision to invest here reiterates the case for focussing on our trade, investment and logistics policies. We must become an attractive regional hub,” said Mr. Anushka Wijesinha, Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, commenting on the findings.
When asked to rank (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being lowest and 5 being highest) various factors that influenced their decision to invest in Sri Lanka, ‘Geographical location’ ranked the highest (4.33 on average), followed by ‘Political stability’ (3.96), ‘Quality of the workforce’ (3.88), ‘Quality of infrastructure’ (3.59), and ‘Macroeconomic stability’ (3.51). ‘Geographical location’ received the most number of respondents ranking it high at 4 or 5, and ‘Quality of infrastructure’ received the most number of respondents ranking it low at 1 or 2.
In terms of other characteristics of the respondents, the majority of respondents, accounting for 46 percent of the respondents indicated that the key reason for attending the conclave was to meet potential investors and JV partners, while 37 percent reported that it was to gain market insight, and 17 percent has come to meet government officials and decision makers. The majority of the respondents (61 percent) were investors (including investment groups), while 19 percent were business support providers, 4 percent were from research institutions, 2 percent were buyers, and the rest did not classify.
The top five industry sectors that the investors came from were export manufacturing (21%), infrastructure providers (including equipment) (19%), agriculture (8%), tourism and leisure (8%), and petroleum, telecoms, power and energy (10%).
The ‘Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2016’ attracted over 120 foreign investors, including large delegations from East Asian and Middle East countries and was the first such initiative by a Chamber in Sri Lanka.
25th June, 2015
NEW LEADERSHIP AT THE CEYLON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 176th Annual General Meeting on the 25th of June, 2015 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. The Chief Guest of the occasion was Mr. H. M. G. S. Palihakkara, the Governor of the Northern Province.
The AGM saw the appointment of Mr. Samantha Ranatunga, as the new Chairperson of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the premier business chamber in the country. He succeeded Mr. Suresh Shah, while the appointment of a new Vice Chairperson and a Deputy Vice Chairperson also took place at the AGM. Accordingly, Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah, was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the CCC, while Dr. Hans Wijeysuriya was elected as the Deputy Vice Chairperson.
The AGM also saw the appointment of a nine member ‘Board of Directors’ under the newly ratified rules of the Chamber in place of the ‘Standing Committee A ’.
Accordingly, the nine member ‘Board of Directors’ would consist of Mr. Samantha Ranatunga, Chairperson of the CCC, Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah and Dr. Hans Wijeysuriya, respectively the Vice Chairperson and Deputy Vice Chairperson of the CCC, Mr. Hiran Cooray, Chairperson of the Jetwing Group, Mr. Vish Govindasamy, Group Managing Director of Sunshine Holdings PLC, Ms. Sheamlee Wickramasingha, Managing Director of Ceylon Biscuits Limited, Mr. Duminda Hulangamuwa, Partner – Head of Tax Services, Ernst and Young, Mr. Faizal Salieh, Director of HNB General Insurance and Mr. Mangala P.B. Yapa, Secretary General / CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The newly elected Chairperson, Mr. Samantha Ranatunga, is a recognized senior corporate executive of the country and functioned as the Deputy Chairperson of the CCC, before being appointed as the Chairperson.
Ranatunga, who holds a degree from the University of Delhi and a Masters in Business Administration, currently works as the Managing Director/CEO of the CIC group and also functions as a Non-Executive Director of a number of unlisted companies in the Group.
He is also the Chairperson of the Agriculture & Livestock Stock Steering Committee, member of the Economic Fiscal & Policy Planning Steering Committee of the Chamber, Member of the Sri Lanka-Maldivian Business Council and current Chairman of the Asian Council on Food & Agriculture (ACFA) of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce & Industry (CACCI). He is also the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce nominee in the Mercantile Services Provident Society. Mr. Ranatunga has led number of Chamber delegations to various countries.