Over 1,000 top foreign investors and business personnel from Commonwealth and non Commonwealth countries were expected to participate in the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF), which will be held in November as a part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Sri Lanka would be hosting the 2013 CHOGM in November as planned and that no member government had indicated to change the venue.
Therefore, the government formed a special forum under the patronage of Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Neomal Perera, Organising Committee members of the of Commonwealth Business Forum Tissa Jayaweera said.
“The Forum will bring together over 1,000 business and Government leaders to the largest business event, ever held in Sri Lanka to discuss key economic and business issues of the day, form new partnerships and create contacts, according to the organizers,” Jayaweera said.
He also said that with the venue confirmation we are going to hold an urgent discussion with the Minister of External Affairs, Prof G L Peiris and Deputy Minister Neomal Perera and representatives of business chambers on the arrangements for the meeting of the Commonwealth Business Council which organizes the forum in Sri Lanka.
Jayaweera said that the Sri Lankan business community was very keen on the forum but the committee expects to invite more representatives from non Commonwealth countries. He also said that non Commonwealth countries like China will also be invited to participate in the business forum to provide a platform for interactive networking. The forum will focus on thrust areas such as, ports and shipping, agriculture, housing, tourism, education, IT and development in Sri Lanka.
Former President of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) Kosala Wickramanayake said that the CBF is a major global business event, coming at a critical time as the developed world continues its efforts to recover from recession, tackle the challenges of maintaining open markets and when emerging markets were enjoying a greater prominence on the world stage than ever before.
Wickramanayake, one of the committee members of CBF said that the Forum will be a key event in developing stronger partnerships between governments and business entities with the end of the three decade of war in Sri Lanka. The CBF will take place in Colombo during November 12-14, 2013 in conjunction with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Sri Lanka will receive about US$ 2 billion investment income by hosting the event and the event will provide Sri Lanka an opportunity to invest in other Commonwealth countries as well. The theme of CBF 2013 is “Partnership for Wealth Creation and Social Development: The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and SAARC.