Financial Times

Lankan Embassy in Brussels calls for early revision of travel advisories

In a bid to facilitate a change of perception on Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan embassy in Brussels is urging EU member state governments for an early revision of travel advisories which would reflect the current security situation in the country.

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, in a programme to promote trade and investment to Sri Lanka, called upon business sectors to engage in investment and trade as it would lead to economic empowerment and in turn contribute towards creating a setting for normalcy among the lives of the displaced in the North and Eastern provinces, the embassy said in a statement,

The recently organized programme to attract investors from Belgium and Luxembourg was put together by the Embassy in collaboration with the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka, the Brussels Enterprises Commerce & Industry (BECI) and the Belgolux-Sri Lanka Business Council. The programme comprised an investment forum, one to one meetings with potential investors, and meetings with the Deputy Mayor of Antwerp and leaders of the Antwerp Ports Authority and Diamond industry.

The programme was the first overseas investment forum by the BOI in Europe. The Ambassador speaking at the event said the main impediment to Sri Lanka reaching its full potential had been removed, and that Sri Lankans were keen to shift gears and focus on development and bringing peace and economic prosperity to the entire country. He said the resilience the Sri Lankan economy showed in the past, while navigating through stormy seas, would hold it in good stead as it entered calmer waters,” the statement said.

The investment promotion programme was part of a broader economic promotion initiative launched by the Embassy since the beginning of 2009. This included the relaunch of the BELGOLUX-Sri Lanka Business Council, the participation of Sri Lankan exporters within an unified pavilion at the European Seafood Exposition, a Sri Lanka Sea Food Festival, and also rebranding of Sri Lanka Tourism and promotion of Sri Lankan Airlines.

Activities lined up for the rest of this year include commodity specific promotion of Ceylon Tea and Sri Lanka Tourism in Belgium, a trade and investment promotion mission to Sri Lanka organized by the Flanders Trade and Investment (FTI) agency of Belgium and the production of a tourism promotional programme on Sri Lanka by prominent Belgian Broadcaster EEN-TV and also cooperation between the Ports Authorities of Belgium and Sri Lanka to operationalize the Maritime Transport Agreement signed between the two countries in 2003, the press release said.

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