Financial Times

Big corporate names in Jaffna as interest grows

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

JAFFNA - Some big names in the corporate world are gearing to set up businesses in Jaffna and are trying to beat each other to the race, according to officials. “Tuesday morning Hayleys PLC called us trying to set up a branch and last month Brown and Company wanted a small land in Jaffna to put up a showroom,” S. Yogarajasingam, CEO, Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam told the Sunday Times FT in an interview at his office in Jaffna this week.

He said Mackwoods is also eyeing land to build their agriculture base in Jaffna adding that Cargills is also planning to set up its supermarket following competitor, Keells Super’s entry into the now war-free peninsula.

“The Board of Investment has secured a place to set up their branch and by end of November they plan to start operations,” Mr. Yogarajasingham said. He said the real need for retailers of food items such as fish, prawns, lobster, onions, beetroot, banana, grapes, mango, etc in Jaffna is an ice-block making plant.

“This is an urgency, as now there are many food items starting to move. Iceman Technologies, a service provider in the cold chain operations is already gearing to set up a plant here, which will help the retailers to a large extent. Presently we have a small plant manufacturing about 60 metric tonnes per day, but we need more than 6,000 metric tonnes daily,” he noted.

He said that vehicles are also in high demand in the peninsula. A businessman dealing in trading in Jaffna confirmed this saying that last month vehicle retailer, DIMO had sold 30 cars. “They were mostly Tatas and there is a good demand here for other automobiles too,” he said.

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