The Business for Peace Alliance (BPA), a network of 27 regional chambers of commerce, this week announced the first post-war investor forum in Jaffna, in January next year. The BizPAct Investment Forum – Jaffna, on January 5 – 8, 2010 is expected to showcase the Northern Province as an investment region for local businesses, the Sri Lankan diaspora and investment advisers.
“The conference and visits in the Northern Province will focus on responsible regional economic development,” said the Secretary General and CEO of the BPA, Manique Mendis, speaking at a press conference to announce the event this Wednesday.
The Jaffna Investment Forum is supported by various government institutions and also by leading Colombo based trade chambers and some international non governmental organisations.
Trade chambers say that large Sri Lankan businesses are already making plans to enter Jaffna, with resettlement taking place and consumer demand increasing in the Jaffna Peninsula.
“Many Colombo based businesses are already looking at Jaffna,” said the Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Harin Malwatta.
Businesses from other regions are also looking for new opportunities in Jaffna. “In addition to Colombo based businesses even regional businesses are interested in doing business with Jaffna and establishing partnerships,” said a past Chairman of the Sabaragamuwa Chamber of Commerce and the Project Chairman of BPA, C J Gunaseela.
Earlier this year the BPA organised an investment forum for the war-recovering Eastern province that initiated the processes of Eastern Province businesses establishing partnerships with the Sri Lankan diaspora.
The Jaffna forum is expected to allow businesses to learn more about the economic context of the North and explore investment opportunities in small and medium enterprises. The forum would allow businesses to network with investors, entrepreneurs and govrnment officials.