Ocean Outlook

June 18, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Chamber of Construction Industry is pressing for the setting up of an institutional and legal framework to exploit the island’s offshore resources. “It appears that our economic survival will depend on our ability to exploit our offshore resources,” said Dakshitha Thalgodapitiya, chief executive of the Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), an industry body.

“However, we are lagging behind in setting up the necessary legal, institutional, human, and financial resources that are required.”

Thalgodapitiya fears that failure to do so could mean the country may end up deriving only “marginal benefits” from its offshore wealth, with foreign investors getting extra advantages.

“There is a real danger of this happening.”

Thalgodapitiya said the CCI was trying to raise awareness of the island’s offshore potential by bringing together a group of top professionals with the expertise in offshore matters to brief business professionals.

The Chamber of Construction Industry is also advocating tapping the services of expatriate Sri Lankans in the island’s quest to exploit its offshore resources since local expertise is limited.

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