The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), in association with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) and the Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia,
will host a series of ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ forums in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).
The forums, which are set to take place in Sydney (20 March), Melbourne (23 March) and Auckland (25 March), are conducted with the objective of promoting capital market investment opportunities to ANZ investors and individuals of Sri Lankan origin residing in the two countries. The Invest SL forums are expected to draw a combined participation of over 500 institutional investors, high net worth individuals and residents of Sri Lankan origin from the region.
Commenting on the initiative, SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne said: “Our immediate priority is to fulfill the SEC’s mandate by initiating regulatory reforms and improving market infrastructure to ensure a level playing field in which issuers can raise funds and investors can participate with confidence. I am confident that ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ will provide investors based in both Australia and New Zealand with an excellent chance to understand potential investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. This endeavour will facilitate the Government’s aspiration to attract more investments from the Diaspora to drive economic development.”
CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka stated that a strong community of individuals of Sri Lankan origin eager to look at new Sri Lankan investment opportunities and a growing inflow of foreign investment originating from Australia had highlighted ANZ as a market with notable potential.
Kulatilaka said that bilateral activity surrounding the celebration of 70 years of diplomatic ties between Sri Lanka and Australia presented the CSE with a unique opportunity to promote the capital market at a time when Sri Lanka had the attention of the region.
“We have taken steps to enter into partnerships with local consulates, associations and business councils considering the local context of each location and the diverse nature of our target audience,” he added.
The Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Bryce Hutchesson, commended the initiative as a valuable means of fostering closer economic ties between the two countries. “Further economic reform in Sri Lanka should see more Australian businesses and investors looking to enter the local market. There is clear scope to expand the bilateral trade and investment relationship and this Invest Sri Lanka forum initiative should contribute positively towards that goal.”
Sydney marks the first stop of the series with an event taking place on 20 March at the Shangri-La Hotel from 3.00 p.m. onwards. The Sydney forum is organised in association with the Sri Lanka and Australia Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney.
The series will then move to the state of Victoria, with an event exclusive to Australian Institutional Investors and High net worth individuals hosted at the International Chamber House Melbourne on 23 March at 8.30 a.m. followed by an evening event from 6.00 p.m. onwards at the Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley, which is set to attract the participation of individuals of Sri Lankan origin living in Melbourne. The Melbourne forums are organised in association with the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne and the Aus-Lanka Business Council.
The final stop in the series of events will take place at the Fickling Convention Centre in Auckland on 25 March from 4.00 p.m. onwards. The event will be organised in association with the Sri Lankan New Zealand Business Council and is expected to draw the participation of individuals of Sri Lankan origin living in Auckland.
All events will feature a keynote address delivered by State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Niroshan Perera, while CSE Chairman Kulatilaka and Director General of the SEC Vajira Wijegunerwardane will make presentations on the opportunities in the Sri Lankan capital market and the reformist agenda for the capital market, respectively.
A macroeconomic overview of the country will be provided by Fitch Ratings Lanka MD/CEO/Country Head Maninda Wickramasinghe and will be followed by insight into the economic policy direction of the country, which will be delivered by Director of Economic Research at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr. Yuthika Indraratne. The main presentations will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike and a question and answer session with the audience.
The events will also feature several leading real estate developments in Sri Lanka in the capacity of event sponsors, including the Colombo Port City (Platinum Sponsor), One Galle Face by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (Platinum Sponsor) and the luxury apartment development by Altair (Corporate Sponsor).
Registrations and further information on the events can be obtained via www.investsrilanka.net. (Daily FT)