Ceylon FT: A veteran shipper blamed himself, the business community, and the government for not marketing Sri Lanka, despite several authorities claiming that aggressive marketing campaigns were taking place.
Chief Executive officer of Shippers' Academy, Rohan Masakorala, told a forum organized by the Charted Institute of Logistics and Transport that everyone in the country had failed to promote Sri Lanka internationally and was following their own agendas.
Answering a query he said, "I'm to be blamed, even you and everyone in this country is to be blamed for not promoting Sri Lanka as a favourable destination."
He further said, "I have discussed the matter with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who too admitted that no proper marketing to promote Sri Lanka was taking place, and even I proposed to establish a Marketing Department to promote the whole of Sri Lanka."
Sri Lanka has opportunities which could be offered, these favourable opportunities should be promoted to attract Investments, tourists and business, he said.
Masakorala, who headed several governmental authorities and who was also a key member is drafting the Shipping and Logistics Hub concept for Sri Lanka, opined that a collective effort was needed to promote Sri Lanka as a favourable destination.
He also said, it was not fair to wait and expect the government to do everything for the private sector and said the private sector should pitch in and promote Sri Lanka at large to capture global market share.
Despite his allegations, several authorities including Sri Lanka Tourism, Export Development Board, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Investment Promotion, Board of Investment, Ministry of External Affairs and many other state entities claim to have been continuously promoting Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Tourism, despite promoting Sri Lanka in several international forums has been actively promoting the country in international markets individually. However, methods of promotion by the authority have been questioned by industrialists.
The Export Development Board and other authorities too are carrying out several promotional activities. There have been reported instances where collective efforts have been made, but the outcome is still under question.