The Sunday Leader

Singaporean companies exploring investment opportunities in Sri Lanka

The Singapore Business Mission to Sri Lanka organized by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) together with International Enterprise Singapore (IES) and Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) recently held a seminar on doing business in Sri Lanka, at the Paramount Tower in Nawala.

S.S. Teo, Mission Leader, SBF Chairman and Managing Director of Pacific International Lines, said, “This is the Federation’s fourth visit to Sri Lanka since 2008, with our last visit in June 2016. Today, we have a 32-strong delegation comprising 24 companies and organizations across the ICT, real estate development, hospitality, infrastructure, logistics and general trade sectors. The Singapore business community fully welcomes and supports the SLSFTA. With this agreement in place, there will be an even greater impetus for business activities between Singapore and Sri Lanka.”

Dr. Rasitha Wickramasinghe from Stax Inc., provided an economic overview of doing business in Sri Lanka & sectoral business opportunities in the country. He highlighted key aspects of post war Sri Lanka and also compared Sri Lanka with its peers in various segments.

Highlighting the legal considerations and framework of the Country, Mr. Dushyantha Perera, Partner – Head of Investments and M & A at Sudath Perera Associates covered the key aspects of understanding legal system in Sri Lanka, explaining the process of setting up a business in Sri Lanka and laws and regulations governing foreign investments.

Suresh Perera, Principal – Tax & Regulatory of KPMG Sri Lanka, then briefed the audience on the tax framework of the country, the industry specific tax implications, trade agreements and double tax avoidance agreements. The recently gazetted Inland Revenue Act was also discussed in detail by Mr. Perera.

Thereafter, the delegates / representatives of Singapore companies operating in Sri Lanka shared their experiences in doing business in Sri Lanka, where they discussed about understanding Sri Lankan consumer and business mindset, marketing and distribution in Sri Lanka, and working with Sri Lankan partners and employees successfully. The panel consisted of Mr. Liang Thow Ming – Chief Sales & Marketing Officer (CHEC Port City), Mr. Sriyal Dissanayake – Managing Director (PIL-EML) & Mr. Malaravan Ron – Managing Director (SecuriState). The panel was moderated by Mr. Chandra Mohan Rethnam – Partner (Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP)

Representatives from Singapore and Sri Lankan companies attended the Singapore Business Mission to discuss opportunities for deeper Singapore – Sri Lanka collaboration, network and connect with potential partners and clients through business matching sessions.

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