Sri Lanka Expo foreign presence sign of confidence: president

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Mar 28, 2012 (LBO) – The presence of a large delegation of foreign visitors at Sri lanka’s Expo2012 international trade fair and exhibition is an expression of confidence placed in the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The fair is meant to show the world the new prospects for investment and trade in Sri Lanka after the end of its 30-year ethnic war in 2009, he said at the opening of Expo2012.

“Your presence in large numbers is truly encouraging and is a promise of future progress in our development,” he told foreign delegates.

“The magnitude and arrangement of exhibits make it very clear that Sri Lanka is fully open to business.”

Sri Lanka is a strategically important economic centre in the region, free of conflict, open to trade, and not held back by tough regulation with government encouraging the private sector,” Rajapaksa said.

“That is why foreign direct investment has doubled. This year net inflows into the stock market are encouraging.”

The Expo 2012 fair targets merchandise exports, services and investment with the travel trade and information technology and business process outsourcing firms also among the 370 exhibitors.

More than 1,300 foreign visitors had registered to atte