Investors gathering around the local BOI rep
I’m in Trincomalee. For the first time in a long time I’m genuinely excited by the same hope that brought me back to this country. Met a bunch of local small businessman at the local Chamber Of Commerce and they’re excited to grow. Traveling with a bunch of diaspora investors and they’re excited to invest. Everybody is willing to work together to develop this wonderful country. Trinco itself is a bountiful and long neglected place, now poised and ready to grow. Boom even, and no artillery this time.
To get to Trinco you go through Kurunegala, Dambulla then down the Habarana road. That road is still being jackhammered out of the rock, but it looks like it’ll be good. Still takes like 7-8 hours. As you drive in you see a Industrial Investment Zone. This is land set aside for business, and I believe there’s another patch past Nilaweli (beachfront). Trinco itself is spectacularly beautiful and lucky, possessing one of the largest natural deep harbors in the world. It’s a transit point, and quite nice to hang out in of its own regard.
Spoke to a lady director of the Chamber of Commerce who said she runs a catering business. She says that in the last week they’ve reopened the coast for proper fishing, though there’s still a permit required from the Provincial Council and it’s not quite popping yet. When it does, however, there will be abundant tiger prawns, crab and fish. Another director mentioned tuna as well, and that there was one jetty (Ashroff Jetty I think) open for commercial shipping. So you could theoretically move stuff directly to Japan, etc.
Trinco’s main current industrial dev is the Prima factory, producing flour methinks. There are also opportunities ranging from agriculture and industry to producing clay pots (for curd) which they’re currently bringing from 50k away. I spoke to an energetic young Tamil man who’s passionate about developing IT business like BPOs and taking advantage of the IT and English literate youth here. He says they have the electrical and broadband infrastructure to support such business. I agree as I am typing this on a 3.5G HSPA connection in the Welcombe hotel.
Basically, and not to gush, but it is very exciting to be here at the end of war. And the start of something better. Without the LTTE blowing everything up development is possible, and people are ready to get to work. People of all races here, the diaspora, internationals, etc. When the Chamber Of Commerce finished presenting there was literally a swarm of investors getting phone numbers, cards, inquiring about land, asking question. On their part, the local businesspeople are well spoken, intelligent, and sincere.
I think this will work. The road is almost finished, only about a 300 meters left. When I came in April it was kilometers away from done. Trincomalee is coming online. I recommend checking it out.
I’m touring Trinco and the environs as part of a BizPAct trip to encourage investment in the North, East and whole of Sri Lanka