We are targeting Indian investments which create value addition for Sri Lanka – Indian HC

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By Rajiesh Seetharam

Many Indian industrialists have shown keen interest to invest in Sri Lanka, stated Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay. 

Speaking at the National Logistics Awards 2021 ceremony organised by Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association (SLFFA), High Commisioner stated, “We are aiming at Indian investments which create jobs and high value addition for Sri Lanka. 

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Indian Information Technology Company HCL invested in Sri Lanka with a target to create one thousand high-end jobs. Now HCL has employed over thousand IT professionals in their Sri Lankan office, and are targeting for five thousand professionals to be employed in next few years. This is the kind of trade and investments India wants to create in Sri Lanka. 

In the last 24 hours, I had many inquiries from members of the Confederation of Indian Industry regarding investments in Sri Lanka. Travel Industry Association of India is planning to have their annual conference in Sri Lanka by April. 

Indians were the largest number of tourists who visited Sri Lanka during the first twenty days of this month and numbers of Indian tourists are more than the combined number of tourists from second and third highest number of tourists to Sri Lanka”.

Speaking at the event, SLFFA Chairman Dinesh Sri Chandrasekera stated that the growth of Indian and Bangladesh economies are a great advantage for Sri Lankan logistics companies and Sri Lanka is strategically located to become the logistics hub of South and South East Asia. 

SLFFA Chairman added, “In 2018, World Bank Logistics Performance Index placed Sri Lanka at 94th place.  Singapore ranked 7th and Dubai at 11th. So we have room for improvement. Awards ceremonies for logistics companies would encourage efficiencies and competitiveness among Sri Lankan logistics companies. 

There are also regulatory frameworks which the Government should also improve to make Sri Lanka an attractive destination for multinational logistics companies to invest in. 

The current foreign exchange shortage made Sri Lanka less competitive in the freight negotiations. We are unable to meet the obligations of our foreign principles. We urge the Government to find sustainable solutions to the economic crises at the earliest.”