International Alert Sri Lanka, along with our partners the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) launched the “Investment Tab” of the Regional Enterprise Development Initiative (REDI) on 10th July 2012. It is a web-based portal to encourage and enable regional entrepreneurs who want to start their own business, but do not have sufficient funding or access to markets and investors to do so. It is also meant for potential investors and partners, including from the Sri Lankan diaspora, to access information about local market opportunities. In addition, it is an opportunity to further engage multi-ethnic and multi-religious Sri Lankan communities across the globe in supporting locally driven, needs-based, conflict-sensitive business efforts.
Mr. Harin Malwatte, Secretary General/CEO of Ceylon Chamber thanked International Alert and the British High Commission Sri Lanka for support provided for development of the Investment Tab and its focus to support the development of local business ideas that build on the potentials and strengths that already exist in the regions. Chief Guest Mr. Michael Halpin, Head of Trade and Investment of the British High Commission said that the launch of the Investment Tab is crucial with ongoing development in the regions. He explained that it addresses the long-awaited need of partner organisations in the districts to get exposure to regional capacities and of the investors to understand these. He also pointed out the overall development benefits it will bring to emerging businesses and young entrepreneurs. Hon. Harin Fernando, United National Party MP of Badulla District stated that he was delighted to see the launch of Investment Tab connecting the districts to investors. He also mentioned that it acts as an opportunity to develop young talent and gave an example from his district.
As a part of International Alert Sri Lanka and YBSL’s partnership, the Investment Tab supports the initiative of empowering the District Chambers to act as the link between disadvantaged youth by providing resources and access to business contacts, to reduce economic and social disparity through promotion of youth entrepreneurship in the least developed/marginalised areas of Sri Lanka, especially in the North and East.
This initiative is part of International Alert’s efforts to encourage the Sri Lankan diaspora to review and explore business prospects in the country in a responsible, sustainable and needs-driven manner. Alert will work with key partners in the UK such as the British Sri Lanka Chamber Of Commerce and other key diaspora stakeholders to raise awareness of this Tab and promote locally-driven initiatives. These are the kinds of initiatives that can enhance post-conflict recovery; by supporting livelihoods and creating tangible economic opportunities at the regional level, particularly in the conflict-affected regions of the country, diaspora communities and other investors have the opportunity to support responsible, local development.
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