Thursday, March 17, 2016
Singapore Economic Summit – On Sri Lanka – successful because Govt. not involved!
It is important to realize from the point of view of a potential overseas investor, the Govt. sponsored summits of the past Govt. and other summits underwritten from public funds, have NEVER proved successful on reflection, as the attendee, knows this is pure Govt. bull shit.
Therefore it was refreshing that the Standard Chartered sponsored, summit on doing Business in Sri Lanka, which was represented by many distinguished Sri Lankan companies and officials, yesterday was well attended by interested parties, and did not result in ANY COST to the Sri Lanka Govt. and the potential investor did not feel stifled by a biased group of people telling a story for profit!
Granted, Harsha de Silva attended as a Minister, as well as Ravi Karunanayake, to add weight to the event on behalf of Sri Lanka, but they saw clearly its use for Sri Lanka and to themselves in attending, speaking and putting forward the official line, despite its funding from private entities who had a business interest in inward investment in Sri Lanka.
I hope it is now understood that this type of private sponsor is the need of the hour in order to portray Sri Lanka in the eyes of businesses who invest in Sri Lanka, and not in the eyes of the Govt. who must necessarily tow the party line!
It was important that someone like the Loadstar chairman was able to speak to the audience to tell his story, on how his company in Sri Lanka became the world’s largest supplier of Solid Tyres from a small beginning.
It is as well to note that Perpetual Treasuries is also a co-sponsor of the Summit, as they also hope to gain from this to benefit themselves. It MUST be understood that unless there is a personal benefit, the objectives of summits are distorted out of a purely economic benefit to that of trying to achieve a Govt. objective that sometimes is purely political and NOT economic.
We trust the reader to make their own conclusions so that they will be able to better understand the rationale of getting private sector to sponsor such events.