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Speech By Hon Prof G.L.Peiris At the Inauguration of IMEXPRO 2003.On 31/03/2003.

IMEXPRO 2003 - A clear indication that foreign investor confidence in Sri Lanka is building up

It gives me great pleasure to send this message on the occasion of the inauguration of the international trade fair, IMEXPRO 2003 organized by The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce from 30 March to 1 April, 2003 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is organizing this international trade fair to coincide with a celebration of 164 years of service to the business community by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the premier forum for business in Sri Lanka and take this opportunity to congratulate them for the yeomen service rendered to the economic development of the country.

The vision of my Ministry is to create an internationally competitive industrial sector in Sri Lanka by creating the enabling environment through the formulation of a conducive policy framework and acting as facilitator and catalyst in enterprise development and investment promotion. Establishment of permanent peace is an essential pre-requisite for social and economic development of the country and considering this as a top priority, the Government has taken the initial steps towards establishing permanent peace by engaging the LTTE in a peace process. The peaceful atmosphere that prevailed in the country during the past year, consequent to the MOU between the Government and the LTTE, has increased the confidence of local as well as foreign investors. The Government is also in the process of improving the business environment by removing various impediments for efficient operation of businesses through a series of policy reforms.

Trade and Investment promotion events of this nature will no doubt offer excellent opportunities for the local businesses community to enter into partnerships and various forms of collaborations for further improvement of their businesses, It is highly commendable that the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the senior Chamber in Sri Lanka, has come forward to organize this international trade fair, which will no doubt help the business community reap the benefits of the initiatives of the Government.

It is extremely encouraging to note that this spectacular international trade fair is going to be a major private public partnership project, where the enterprise development and investment promotion agencies under my Ministry i.e. the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka have joined hands with the chamber in presenting this grand international fair. I understand that large numbers of foreign business delegates are taking part in this trade fair and the unprecedented interest in IMEXPRO 2003 from high powered foreign delegations from all parts of the world, is a clear indication that foreign investor confidence in Sri Lanka is building up. Therefore, I strongly believe that IMEXPRO 2003 would provide a tremendous boost to the promotion of exports and imports in Sri Lanka and take our country forward to new heights in the globally competitive market.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and other partner organizations involved in organizing IMEXPRO 2003 and wish all stall holders and participants of this event all success.

Hon. Prof. G L Peiris
Ministry of Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy
Investment Promotion and Constitutional Affairs

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