At the Seminar, the welcome address was delivered by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda. In his address, Ambassador Admiral Karannagoda expounded the newly emerged economic, commercial and investment opportunities in the country as well as the potentiality of Sri Lanka to become a hub in financial services, aviation, ports, knowledge, outsourcing and tourism not only in South Asia but in the entire continent of Asia. He also informed about the amount of funds expended for infrastructural development projects by the ADB, the World Bank, JICA, Exim Bank of China and other financial donor agencies. This amount is approximately USD 1.2 billion per year.
He further impressed the importance of connectivity, integration and regionalism of Sri Lanka with the countries in the region as well as with countries in different continents, which would accommodate, augment and facilitate economic, investment, trade and commercial advancement of Sri Lanka, on a mutual basis. With absolute peace, stability, opportunities and rule of law with a practicing Democracy, Sri Lanka is well positioned to become a highly sought after emerging economy in the region. Ambassador Admiral Karannagoda also highlighted and underlined the prospects in the country for foreign direct investments, foreign institutional investments, investments in the tourism and hospitality sector and of course the impressive economic growth rates in the vicinity of 7.0 to 7.5% estimated in 2012 and the growth rate of 8.3% in 2011, among others.
The Chief Executive Officer of Bensei Securities, Mr. Toyohiko Murakami, addressed the select audience with regard to the positive prospects of the macro and micro economic policies of Sri Lanka as well as the opportune timing to commit investments in the equity and in the debt market. He further made parallels and comparisons with other emerging and developing economies around the world, and urged the select audience to take the advantage of Sri Lanka with regard to accruing a higher and safer Return on Investment (RoI) and Return on Equity (RoE) in the Capital market of Sri Lanka.
The General Manager of Bensei Securities, Mr. Katsuhiko Hiroshige, also spoke of the economy of Sri Lanka and the most effective manner of investing in the debt market, thus demonstrating the highest possible return on investments. The Chairman of New World Securities, Mr. Takashi Igarashi, also addressed the favourable economic climate for investments in Sri Lanka. The New World Securities has a strong presence in Sri Lanka and Mr. Igarashi has been in Sri Lanka for over two decades. After the conclusion of the formal addresses and speeches, the select audience posed questions and clarifications to the respective speakers in order to be clear of the objectives of investments in Sri Lanka.
The closing remarks were delivered by the Managing Director of Bensei Securities, Mr. Akio Shimamoto, encompassing the key and salient issues, features and opportunities of investments in the equity and debt market in Sri Lanka. Most of them were impressed of the economic and financial tapestry of Sri Lanka as well as of the visible positive prospects of the Capital market. The Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy, Mr. M Somasena, organized this Seminar with the assistance of other officials of the Embassy.