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Sri Lanka invites Indian investment

Indian business community invited to look at investment opportunities in sectors such as ports, tourism and financial services

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

today invited Indian business community to look at opportunities in its sectors such as ports, and

"is now the fastest growing economy in South Asia. With impressive growth expected in key sectors such as ports, tourism, real estate, and outsourcing industry, this is the most favourable time for existing and potential investors to capitalize on the business and opportunities," Central Bank of Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told reporters here.

"We are looking at India based and offshore funds to invest in Sri Lanka," Cabrall said on the sidelines of investors forum 'Invest Sri Lanka'.

Sri Lankan economy is growing at 7-8 per cent per annum and we are looking at higher growth. The government also plans to allow private sector to raise foreign funds.

Commenting on FDI, Cabrall said, Sri Lanka's attractive climate has helped the country capture substantial FDI inflows.

The recent relaxation of exchange control regulations should boost FDI inflows. The government is confident of achieving an FDI target of USD 1.5 billion in 2013, he said.

Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) said, "Sri Lankan economy has been on the upswing following the end of the civil strife in mid-2009.

"To capitalize on the country's strong economic growth trajectory, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka is taking major steps in capital market development and regulation to increase investor confidence in the islands' financial market."

"With accelerating growth prospects and great diversification opportunities, Sri Lanka is emerging as a promising destination for foreign investors, as it offers higher returns than investments in developed countries whose economies are slowing down," Godahewa said.

Krishan Balendra, Chairman, Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), said, "The market has grown significantly in value in the last 3 years. Foreign participation has increased with unprecedented net foreign inflows in 2012. Given the post conflict growth prospects for the economy, the market is poised to see sustained growth going forward."

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) operates the only share market in Sri Lanka. The CSE is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) and it is taking concrete measures to increase free float and market depth in order to improve investibility, Balendra said.

First Published: Thu, February 21 2013. 18:17 IST