“We need a lot of international confidence and stability in the destination to invite international cargo owners, buyers and logistics companies to use Sri Lanka as the preferred distribution centre for Asia and Africa,” said Hub Operators’ Association of Sri Lanka President Rohan Masakorala. “I can confirm potential business opportunities are on hold and in most cases business travellers are reluctant to come and visit the island as the travel insurance premiums have gone up.
“We have done a lot of work with the Export Development Board and the National Export Strategy to start marketing Sri Lanka as the best geographical location for logistics and distribution. Very recently we introduced new laws for e-commerce, and liberalised the small consignment handling environment (LCL) to attract investors. We are in the process of doing promotional videos and destination marketing events overseas but given the current political impasse and the fractured political structure all are coming to a gradual standstill and more worrying is that the country image is at stake as people take a wait-and-see approach.
“We request the Executive President Maithripala Sirisena to take utmost care to uphold the Constitution, to restore normalcy to help the businesses environment and to take action to protect the country’s image as it will take a very long time to repair negative perceptions of a country and the businesses and citizens of Sri Lanka will have to face the economic consequences in the medium to long term. We all know that in today’s world news travel very fast and many other countries are competing for the same business that we are trying to attract investors. If Sri Lanka continues like this, our sector will suffer without any doubt.”
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by ft.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)