Asia’s leading luxury hotels group, Shangri-La Asia Ltd on Friday expressed willingness to invest in Sri Lanka’s hotels industry, including a 5-star property to be built in the capital Colombo. The company also intends to enter the sugar cane industry in Sri Lanka through its subsidiary Wilmar International of Singapore.
This was revealed when Shangri-La Chairman/CEO Asia, Ean Khoon Kuok arrived on the island last Thursday in his private jet to hold talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressing interest in investing in super luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as well as a massive sugarcane cultivation and sugar production factory project on the island, official sources said.
At the meeting with the President, Mr. Kuok said he was very impressed with Sri Lankan hospitality adding that Sri Lanka is increasingly looking promising as a tourist destination with the war coming to an end in 2009.
President Rajapaksa welcomed the proposals pledging to extend every assistance to make the Shangri-La chief’s investment mission a reality. Mr. Kuok also met Minister of External Affairs Prof.G.L.Peiris.
Director of Pyramid Lanka, S.A.P.Suriyapperuma, who is coordinating the visit, told the Business Times that Mr Kuok was scheduled to visit Hambantota and Passikudah on Saturday to identify suitable location for hotels and to start several other ventures in the area which is being rapidly developed with the completion of the harbour and the international airport. He also visited several sites in Colombo to identify a suitable location for a five star city hotel.