Plans to raise Sri Lanka’s profile on international stage | Sunday Observer

Plans to raise Sri Lanka’s profile on international stage

Sri Lanka’s broad-based plans for boosting foreign direct investments (FDI) and exports are explored in detail in a forthcoming report by the global research and consultancy firm, Oxford Business Group (OBG).

Marking OBG’s third publication on the country, ‘The Report: Sri Lanka 2018’ tracks several developments across the economy including Port City Colombo, the Chinese-backed real estate project, which has been earmarked for a key part in the Asian giant’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

There will be in-depth analysis of what Sri Lanka can expect to gain from the free trade agreement (FTA) it had signed with Singapore in January 2018, following 18 months of negotiations, which, while not without its critics, is expected to pave the way for future trade agreements.

Other topics examined include the country’s decision to sharpen its focus on IT-related services, including business process outsourcing (BPO), as part of a wider bid to diversify exports.

OBG’s report will also consider the challenges Sri Lanka faces in its efforts to address the country’s high levels of debt, which are exacerbated by a relatively low revenue base.

HSBC Sri Lanka has signed a second memorandum of understanding (MoU) with OBG for its forthcoming publication. Under the MoU, the bank will again help OBG to research and produce the banking chapter and other parts of The Report: Sri Lanka 2018.

CEO, HSBC Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Mark Prothero said he looked forward to teaming up with OBG for its 2018 report and highlighting the key developments within the industry and beyond that were helping to shape the country’s changing economic landscape.

“Given Sri Lanka’s ambitious growth agenda, taking advantage of its geographic location to ensure strategic positioning in global value chains, strengthening international trade through various trade agreements and seeking out digital solutions are some of the critical focal points for the country to build on its competitive advantage.

“HSBC has played a strategic role in the evolution of the Sri Lankan economy for the past 126 years. We recognise that harnessing technological capabilities to take advantage of the evolving digital landscape can be a game changer for the local economy and the banking industry,” he said.

OBG’s editorial manager in Sri Lanka, Nathan Thadani, welcomed HSBC Sri Lanka on board for its new project, saying he was confident the lender’s contribution would bring an added dimension to the 2018 report.

“With FDI accounting for just 1% of GDP, Sri Lanka is keen to raise its profile on the global stage and highlight the country’s emerging opportunities to international investors.

“HSBC Sri Lanka is a key player on the international banking scene, with a presence that covers nearly 90% of global trade flows.

I’m delighted that both our team and readers will once again benefit from the input of its experts,” he said.