Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka successfully concluded a visit to Paris, France from 01 July to 06 July 2018. “The Investment Forum on Megapolis Projects in Western Province of Sri Lanka” with the participation of well-known French companies was held on 04 July 2018 at the French Business Confederation-MEDEF International in Paris.
The forum was attended by Minister Ranawaka, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France Buddhi K. Athauda, Advisor to the Minister Vidya D. Amarapala, Additional Secretary of the Ministry W.M.K.P.S.R Fernando, Coordinating Secretary to the Minister Pujitha Hewawasam, First Secretary (Commercial) of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris Chandima Abeyrathna as well as Director Géraldine Lemble and Chloe Mullions of MEDEF International.
Ambassador Athauda highlighted the current economic growth of the country and bilateral economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and France during past few years. He mentioned that there are huge opportunities to develop economic ties between the two countries and promised to bridge the existing gaps to strengthen the bilateral relationship.
Speaking at the Forum, Minister Ranawaka highlighted Sri Lanka’s geographical strategic position in the Indian Ocean on the Silk Road as an entrance to South Asia and Africa. He briefed the Forum on country’s future challenges and the government’s plans on urban development in the western province to transform it into one Megapolis. The Minister stated that with the creation of different corridors, connected ports and public transport, the government wishes to attract foreign investors. Minister Ranawaka further elaborated on the projects available in the plan such as the Financial Business District, Industrial Township, Aero city, Tech city, Logistic and Tourism activities, Plantation City and Forest related Economic City.
Director Géraldine Lemble of MEDEF appreciated the presentation and details of the available project opportunities. She was committed to support Sri Lanka with members of the Sustainable City Task Force and the Maritime Task Force of the MEDEF.
French Government and French companies showed their keenness in Sri Lankan market and requested details in some areas to improve the trade relationship between the two countries.
The Minister and the delegation also had the opportunity to visit the Saint Lazara Station, which is similar to proposed Pettah Multimodal Transport Hub.