Global finance trade forum goes ahead in Sri Lanka as security improves

ECONOMYNEXT – A global association of financial market professionals is going ahead with plans to hold their world congress in Sri Lanka in October as security had improved after Easter.

Sunday’s suicide bombings, its chief said.  Bruno Langfritz, chairman of Paris-based Association Cambiste Internationale (ACIFMA), the

Financial Markets Association, said the congress would help focus attention on Sri Lanka’s plans to become a financial hub in the region.

“When the Easter Sunday attacks took place, everyone called for cancelling of the congress,” he told a news conference held to announce the ACI Financial Markets Association World Congress from the 3rd to 5th October in Colombo. 

 “But it was not cancelled as we know that this can happen in any place in the world,” Langfritz said. “It happens in France, in Belgium, it can happen in Switzerland, where I’m from.”

The April attacks on churches and hotels by Islamist extremists killed over 250 people, including tourists.
 
Langfritz said he felt comfortable with security measures taken by Sri Lanka, including its hotels.

“I have experienced many security issues because I’ve been travelling a lot. I see how strict controls are now in front of hotels. It is much better than the ones in south east Asia. I feel safe.”

Shanaka Perera, president Sri Lanka Forex Association, which will host the event, said it will demonstrate that Sri Lanka is very much open for business in terms of conference tourism.

“Sri Lanka is striving to become a regional financial centre, through the port city financial centre which this conference will highlight,” he said.

About 200 foreign delegates are expected for the forum.

The October global congress by the ACI, which has over 8,000 international members, will bring together financial market professionals, regional regulators, policy makers, think tanks, investors and corporate.

The keynote address will be delivered by Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Indrajit Coomaraswamy.

Other speakers include Minister of Economic Reform and Public Distribution Harsha de Silva, 

Head of Capital Markets of PWC Martin Liebi, Associate Professor Faculty of Business & Economics of University of Hong Kong Tuan Q Phan, and Global Economist Standard Chartered Bank David Mann.
(COLOMBO, 24 July, 2019)