The opening of the A9 highway has opened tremendous opportunity for business in Jaffna with the era of peace bringing prosperity to the north. Today Jaffna is visited by three to five thousand vehicles daily carrying mainly local tourists. Seeing the potential for further growth and expansion in the area the ‘Jaffna International Trade Fair’ (JITF) 2011 will be held on January 21-23rd, 2011 at the Durayappah Stadium, Jaffna.
Briefing the media last week in Colombo on the event, Chairman, Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yalpanam (Jaffna) K. Pooranachandran said, “The end of the 30 year-long war has ushered in an environment ideal for business. But at the moment we do not have all the industries in operation here in Jaffna. For a prospective investor today Jaffna is the ideal place as there is a lot of cash here.
But the money is still with the traders as there is little else to invest in. This is proven by the fact that in Jaffna within a kilometer there are 14 banks including foreign banks. Every time a branch is opened they receive enough money as deposits on the first day. Last year the JITF attracted over 300,000 visitors and 300 stalls representing 200 companies. This year we are expecting to attract more participants and visitors.”
He said the Tamil Diaspora is continuously sending money to their families in Jaffna. This money is at the moment deposited in banks. If there is opportunity for investment these monies will be utilized, he added. With India coming in with an investment of Rs. 250 million to build 50,000 houses the requirement for heavy machinery and other equipment is great. The setting up of an industrial park is also on the cards.
The chamber chief said, “the opportunity to prosper is here now with Jaffna opening its’ doors for business. The growth opportunities at the moment are in Jaffna. It is for the entrepreneurs both local and foreign to capitalize on this opportunity as this is the best climate for growth for both Jaffna and businessmen.”