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Silicon Valley Sri Lankan Investment Forum
By Steven Rafter     August 1, 2003

 

From left to right; Anil Srivastava, CEO, Acrossworld Communications (in beard), Dinesh Perera (facing camera), Honorable Pradeep Gunawardana, Bandula Amarasekera, Armon Mills, CEO, Biz Ink, Bill Beckman, CEO, GRG Engineering.


 

San Jose, CA – Silicon Valley business executives attended an invite only investment forum to learn about business opportunities in Sri Lanka on August 1, 2003 at the Capital Club.  Some of the companies that were represented were: Vobis Communications, Acrossworld Communications, Gensler Architects, GRG Engineering, Silicon Valley Biz Ink, Rockwood Capital, and many other leading high tech firms. Several of the attendees traveled from the east coast specifically for this event. 

Dinesh Perera, President of Opes Ventures, informed the crowd about business opportunities Sri Lanka offers, and moderated the event.

The Honorable Pradeep Gunawardana, Consul General of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Los Angeles, gave a background about Sri Lanka and the vision the government has for the country’s future.  The Consul General stated, “Now is the time to invest in Sri Lanka.  Our Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, strongly encourages investment from the west.”  And hinted about the possibility of the Prime Minister visiting Silicon Valley to bridge business ties between the east and the west.

Bandula Amarasekera, Trade Officer of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Los Angeles, explained the growth of Sri Lanka and the commitment the government has made to bring foreign investors into the country.  Mr. Amarasekera, stated, “investors are protected from political change, by a constitutional decree.” Which brought a favorable response from the audience.

During the question and answer session attendees showed their interest by the degree of questions asked from the speakers.  Responding to a question Mr. Perera stated, “as an investor, when considering international investments I look for sound principles.  One such principle is the legal system.  I try to determine if a country is investor friendly.  Sri Lanka has developed a system that protects investors, and it offers a business environment that isn’t over-regulated.  That in and of itself should be a very important part of your feasibility study.”   

As a result of this event, Bill Beckman, CEO of GRG Engineering, who flew in from Florida, agreed to open an engineering office in Sri Lanka making it their Far East hub.  He also made a commitment to hire several Sri Lankan engineering students to intern at GRG’s corporate headquarters in Florida.  GRG’s clients include: Disney, Universal Studios, entertainment theme parks, and major hospitals throughout the world.

 

Dinesh Perera

 

Honorable Pradeep Gunawardana.

 

Bandula Amarasekera

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