Sri Lanka still needs level playing field for investors: German Ambassador

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka will be able to improve its investment climate through liberalization of freight forwarding and shipping, industry experts and officials said at the Top German Brands 2019 forum.

“German tourists and companies recognize the potential of Sri Lanka. But there still is room for improvement concerning level playing field, liberalization – freight forwarding and shipping – and land ownership restrictions related to tourism,” German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jorn Rohde said.

“Development cooperation with Sri Lanka concentrates on reconciliation, social integration, education, private sector promotion and vocational training, with a regional focus on the north and north-east of the country.”

Malik Samarawickarama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, highlighted the positive impact of long-standing German-Sri Lankan business relations.

“We are not taking any steps back from economic reform efforts, whether they are on the business index, or trade policy or investment facilitation. I believe that after the presidential election, which will be on 16th of November, we will be in a better position to implement these reforms,” he said

“I’m also pleased that in the recently conducted business survey, 62.5 percent of the companies declared that they have achieve their business targets in 2018,” Samarawickrama said

Samarawickrama said that 75 percent of the companies stated that the industry will stay unchanged or improve was a good sign, however its continuance depends on which government will come into power next year.

There were 144 German brands which participated in the Top German Brands 2019 initiative

“As the official representative of German business AHK Sri Lanka is committed to a level playing field, transparency, fair and free trade,” Andreas Hergenrother, Chief Delegate, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) said.

“An outgoing delegation to Germany and an incoming delegation to Colombo will be organized on energy efficiency in industry.”

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According to the business survey, regarding the outlook for the Sri Lankan economy, 50 percent of the German companies have stated that the economy will stay unchanged or would even improve according their expectation.

Meanwhile regarding the respective industries, about 44 percent of the companies think the prospects of the industry will improve.

“The number of companies is growing. And it shows the commitment of German companies in Sri Lanka,” Ambassador Rohde said

(Colombo/Sep20/2019)