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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Major push to woo Lankan CEOs to think “Off-shoring”

Daily Mirror: 07/11/2005"

A major push to woo Sri Lankan CEOs to think and profit from “off-shoring” will be kicked off later this week.

The initiative is spearheaded by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce ICT Sub Committee in partnership with the World Bank. As part of their efforts to make a concerted effort for companies in particular and Sri Lanka in general to benefit, a top level conference titled “Off-shore Sri Lanka” will be held on November 10 from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. at the Waters Edge, Battaramulla. Around 300 CEOs as well as key Government officials have been invited for the event which the Keynote Speaker will be World Bank’s Senior Economist Ismail Radwan. The event will also include a luncheon presentation by the author of “The Offshore Nation” Avinash Vashistha, who is considered as the guru of off-shoring.

Offshoring, or the process whereby one company delegates responsibility for performing a function or series of tasks to another company based in another country, represents a US$100 billion market and is growing at more than 30 % per annum. In India, a global leader in this area, IT exports account for close to US$20 billion and almost half of total export revenues. The total number of jobs created in the Indian IT industry is close to one million, many of them filled by women.

A spokesman for Ceylon Chamber ICT Sub Committee said “Developing ICT and professional services offshoring opportunities should be a high priority for development-oriented countries such as Sri Lanka. Not only will the development of this industry segment create job and export opportunities, it will also create positive spillovers such as: enhanced incentives for education, technology and knowledge transfer, environmental protection and an improvement in the quality of locally provided services.”

“Outsourcing, BPO, and off shoring are becoming buzzwords in the ICT industry but there is lack of awareness among top CEOs . This conference will define these activities and highlight the potential that it offers for Sri Lanka in terms of; industry growth, employment creation and economic development,” he said adding that Lankan CEOs must reach out to their overseas partners and talk about off-shoring possible functions in Sri Lanka.

The broader objective of the conference as well as the “Offshore Sri Lanka” initiative are to: Build awareness of the potential for off shoring services in Sri Lanka; Incorporate the main findings of the conference into government policies; Start a dialogue between key stakeholders in the industry and government and Lead to progress in off shoring investments in Sri Lanka.

The conference would bring together speakers from the ICT industry, Government and International Financial Institutions and put them before 300 stakeholders of the budding off shoring industry in Sri Lanka.

The conference at which the chief guest will be US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Jeffrey J. Lunstead, will have presentations from such as HSBC/EDPL Managing Director Alan Burton, ICT Agency CEO Manju Haththotuwa, WTP Capital Managing Partner Abhishek Hain while a panel comprising LIRNEasia Executive Director Prof. Rohan Samarajiwa, ICT Agency Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando and Employers Federation Director General Gotabaya Dasanayake will be involved as well. A foreign delegation of prospective collaborators/investors on offshoring is also expected.

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