Going duty free could draw visitors to Sri Lanka, says Singapore retailer

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka could be made into a shoppers’ paradise by becoming a duty free country, said Patrick Chong, Chairman, Luxasia Group, a Singapore based beauty retailer.

“I think it is one of the greatest things that could happen to Sri Lanka,” he said.

These remarks, made at the 2018 Sri Lanka Retail Forum, were met with applause by the audience.

While the government may not be too happy with such a system, he pointed out the benefits for tourism.

“The moment you make it duty free, it will make it more attractive towards visitors.”

It would attract a lot of regional tourists from India, Bangladesh and the ASEAN, he said.

Sri Lanka recently introduced a VAT refund scheme for tourists.

ASEAN countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, well known shopping destinations, also follow a similar policy.

Retail and tourism are interlinked in these countries, unlike in Sri Lanka. (COLOMBO, 20 October 2018)






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