17:32 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 12/12/2017

Business

Sri Lanka introduces opportunities

Released at: 09:52, 06/12/2017

Sri Lanka introduces opportunities

Photo: Hong Nhung (VET)

Recent seminar in HCMC provided Vietnamese companies with knowledge about doing business and investing in Sri Lanka.

by Khanh Chi

Sri Lanka is considered a hub in the Indian Ocean and the land of business opportunities, as it is ranked as the most liberalized economy in south Asia with potential for Vietnamese companies and investors to do business, especially in the logistics, tourism, and service sectors, the “Sri Lanka - Hub of the Indian Ocean” seminar held recently in Ho Chi Minh City heard.

The event aimed at providing an open, informative, and interactive platform, bringing together the Sri Lankan and Vietnamese business communities to discuss opportunities, exchange ideas, and address challenges in cooperation in a wide range of sectors, including agriculture and fisheries, gems and jewelry, IT and related sectors, apparel and garments, tourism, trade, healthcare, manufacturing, and logistics. It also explored mutual investment opportunities.

Vietnam has a similar history of colonization and war, resulting in loss of life and property, but got back on its feet through dedication and hard work, achieving great heights in socio-economic development through sheer determination, commitment and great political will. Both countries have taken a strong economic trajectory after recovering from economic crisis and political turmoil.

In recent times, the two countries have also had to grapple with constant and ever-increasing impacts from natural disasters, most likely due to climate change, so the necessity to mainstream disaster mitigation and management is becoming yet another significant element in plans for economic development.

Sri Lanka’s aim is to strengthen its role as an economic hub of the region, a logistics hub in Asian waters from the east coast of Africa to the west coast of the Americas, while simultaneously aspiring to build itself up as a financial center between Dubai and Singapore. Based on its strategic location and its role as a manufacturing base for high-end, high-quality consumer goods, Sri Lanka is well-positioned in regional and global manufacturing value chains. Furthermore, facing the rapidly-changing global realities, Sri Lanka’s economy is now preparing towards embracing the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

Government policies are focused on strengthening the macro-economic framework through fiscal consolidation, ensuring price stability and maintaining a market-based competitive exchange rate. The government also supports empowering the private sector and public-private partnerships for development.

One hundred per cent foreign ownership of commercial entities is permitted across almost all areas of the economy. There are no restrictions on repatriation of earnings, fees, capital, or forex transactions relating to current account payments. Moreover, the safety of foreign investment is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Sri Lanka’s commercial laws are transparent and sophisticated, based on British common law and with an independent judicial system. The strong legal framework gives foreign investors confidence in investing in the country. It has bilateral investment protection agreements with 28 countries and double taxation agreements with 38 countries, including Vietnam.

With a 56.8 per cent contribution, the services sector remains the largest contributor to the national economy. Strong economic performance had increased per capita income to $3,835 as at 2016. Sri Lanka is now focused on going beyond its middle-income status.

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