China invited to attend Commonwealth business forum in Sri Lanka

Date : 2013-08-08  | From : Xinhua

China will be among non- Commonwealth countries that will attend the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) hosted by Sri Lanka in November that hopes to attract one billion U.S. dollars in investment for a post-war economy, officials said here on Wednesday.

The Commonwealth Business Council will be held on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which is the highest decision making body of the 53-member Commonwealth comprising Britain and its former colonies.

Tabled for mid-November the government will focus on key national projects of infrastructure to promote investment, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris told media.

"There is no doubt that the business council is going to bring enormous benefits to our country at this particular time. We are in a situation where the country is emerging from the shadow of a protracted conflict and our economic development is now going forward at a pace which has won handsome praise."

Twelve heads of state have already confirmed participation and requested to address the gathering while the event is likely to have around 100 speakers overall.

"It is a unique opportunity for Sri Lanka to showcase the country's potential and the opportunities that we are now in a position to offer the world. It is an opportunity that this country has not had for more than a quarter of a century."

Local private sector companies will be able to present their products and services at the forum.

"We will also focus on Sri Lanka as a hub, as a shipping, aviation, knowledge hub; all of this will be done at the business forum. Then we have an exhibition with 400 stalls and this will be of particular importance to the small and medium sector. This is not only for big people but up and down the country small people, industrialists will have the chance of presenting to the world what they have to offer."

Focus on green energy will also be one of the themes of the forum.

"The business council is not confined to countries of the Commonwealth, it has a far wider range and we are inviting leading entrepreneurs from countries that do not belong to the Commonwealth. We are inviting countries that Sri Lanka has intimate trade and investment links with. So we are inviting countries like the People's Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Gulf countries and some African countries and central Asia, " noted CBC Chief Executive Officer Mohan Kaul.

CHOGM will be held on November 15-17 in three locations in Sri Lanka.