Investor: Future bright for Sri Lanka if policies are consistent, says intl hotel developer

Sept 24, 2015 (LBO) – With more stability in Sri Lanka, investors are keen to make long-term commitments, but their one ask is that policies are clear and remain consistent, Goulam Amarsy, an international hotel developer said.

Amarsy appreciated the potential of the island during his first visit to Sri Lanka in August. Now he is back, a month later, this time exploring investment opportunities and business tie ups.

“Future is great so long as there is clear and consistent policy,” Amarsy told Lanka Business Online.

Recent political developments after the August elections also points towards more stability, he said.

Amarsy has developed shopping centres, entertainment centres and hotels in North America and the Middle East, and is the managing director of Dubai-based Malchas Consultants.

His company has been involved in mixed-use real estate projects in the UAE, Pakistan, India and African countries, and facilitated retail deals on behalf of Carrefour, Landmark, CinePax and Virgin. In 2012, they entered into a joint venture with the Paris-based Warwick hotel group to manage hotels in the UAE and the Indian sub-continent.

Commenting on the international investment and financing environment, he said: “Investors in the Middle East are interested in making investments in Sri Lanka and the international financing environment is positive.”

“This is a new destination being rediscovered by international tourists.  With everything it has to offer, we are convinced Sri Lanka will find its niche” he added.

Amarsy believes one of the standout strengths in Sri Lanka is the friendliness of the people which bodes well for tourism as a service industry, as it grows in stature as a major tourist destination.

Tourist arrivals increased 17 percent in the first eight months of this year to 1.1 million. The island is well on its way to 5 million tourist arrivals in the medium term, according to him.

Sri Lanka will benefit from increased tourists from the greater region and should target top income segments in the Indian sub continent, he added.