Top UK firms, retail giant eye Lanka

Several UK companies including a top UK retail entity are interested in investing here in the future, the newly appointed British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives, James Dauris said.

"Sri Lanka is a country with many opportunities for trade and investments due to its high economic growth. At present 100 UK companies are engaged in trading in Sri Lanka, while 50 of them are based here. Several Sri Lankan companies like Millennium IT are now doing well in the UK," he said. With the opening of business opportunities in Sri Lanka, several UK companies have shown keenness to invest here in the country in future,"Dauris said at a breakfast meeting held yesterday at the Hilton Residencies. The meeting was facilitated by the Council for Business with Britain (CBB) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Asked to comment about the new government,Dauris said he is happy with the progress made so far.

He said CBB operating under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce promotes two-way trade between Sri Lanka and the UK and maintains and fosters a harmonious business relationship between the countries.

Therefore, Sri Lanka British business relationship is continually growing with these ample opportunities here, he said.

Last year UK recorded 2.6 percent GDP growth and the employment rate is high but the most challenging aspect is to take opportunities that are available for UK companies.

"Doing business is exciting. All companies need to workout a plan to help countries to develop and shape their economies to grow in a sustainable manner," he said.

"Our companies should market values more than the products.Therefore, CBB works with Britain to promote good trade practices for both countries by networking and help companies to invest in, for the benefit of both countries," Dauris said.

At present Sri Lanka exports more than 1.15 billion sterling pounds of goods and services to UK, while UK only exports 150 million sterling pounds worth of goods and services to Sri Lanka, which is now in-favour of Sri Lanka,the British High Commissioner said.

At the meeting with the High Commissioner, Sri Lankan corporate executives were able to get to know the new envoy, introduce their companies to him and also share and exchange views for further development of trade between Sri Lanka.