With more business discussions taking place between the Indian business tycoons and delegations from the region, Sri Lanka has managed to attract investment attention for 2007.
Summing up the progress made in making Sri Lankan presence at World Economic Forum India Summit 2006, Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told The Island Financial Review that achieving new FDI targets will be easy with current levels of interest displayed in investing in Sri Lanka.
`We came here with an open mind in making our presence in this international forum. Achievements are more than we expected. The `Sri Lanka Investment breakfast meeting` and the dinner organised by us managed to secure investments giving the type of lift-off while merging Colombo and New Delhi in the same wavelength. Airtel is one such company looking at investing in Sri Lanka,` the Minister said.President Mahinda Rajapakse, who was also present at the private dinner hosted for a selectnumber of business tycoons, has managed to emphasise the importance of using the island nation in launching exports to Pakistan.
`During our meetings, none of these investors was concerned with the ongoing conflicts and security problems in North and East Sri Lanka. They, however, were keen to use the opportunity to export to Pakistan via Sri Lanka as it were not possible to do so at present with the prevailing disputes between India and Pakistan. We need to focus on this opportunity taking the fullest advantage,` he explained. - AHPublic sector - civil society alliance vital ? SoniaG
`The world faces old-aged problems, but India`s problems are aged-old,` stated United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Ms Sonia Gandhi at a Session of the India Economic Summit. She said that an alliance of the public sector and civil society is vital for social transformation.
Industry must be an integral part of such an alliance. The Government needs to develop the framework for institutionalizing this collaboration.
Ms Gandhi presented the `Indian Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award` of the Schwab Foudation to Dr. Vikram Akula, founder and Chief Executive Officer of SKS Microfinance (Pvt.) Ltd., which applies global business practices to micro-finance. According to the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi, the institution has loaned over Rs. 3.2 billion to 400,000 women for income-generating activities.
Other finalists for the award this year were International Development Enterprises India Chief Executive Officer Amitabha Sadangi. The company is developing affordable micro-irrigation technologies and has marketed to 800,000 small and marginal farmers; Padmanabha and Rama Rao, founders of Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RIVER), which develops multi-grade, multi-level mythology for rural education and S. Rajgopalan and Svati Bhogle of Technology Informatics Design Endeavour, which identifies economic and environmentally-friendly technologies for rural entrepreneurs.