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.
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
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
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.
Honorable Pradeep Gunawardana.