Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther and newly elected President of Norwegian Business Association Sri Lanka welcoming Norwegian investors to the country. There is a small but thriving Norwegian business community in Sri Lanka, where players across many industries are making positive impacts to their local business communities. Pages
Dear readers, It’s with great pleasure and pride we xwrite this foreword from Colombo, Sri Lanka to mark the establishment of the Norwegian Business Association Sri Lanka on 1 June 2016, the latest Norwegian chamber of commerce in Asia.
Many of us here in Sri Lanka have a long history and have seen ups and downs in the Norwegian-Sri Lankan relationship over the years, but matters have improved significantly since the war ended six-and-a-half years ago.
Today we see a small but thriving Norwegian business community in Sri Lanka, where players across many industries are making positive impacts to their local business communities.
Come and visit us and experience the ambiance, our lovely seafood and the genuine Sri Lankan hospitality while meeting exciting Norwegian business ventures and fully-owned companies in sectors like maritime and fishing, innovative agriculture, and beautiful hotels and creative hospitality ventures. There are of course a number of great companies in the IT sector, and I have established two companies in that industry over the years.
This year we established a firm cooperation between IKT Norge and SLASSCOM. As a result NMFA has decided to support an initiative from IKT Norge to bring the “Lær Kidsa Koding” programme (Teach the Kids to Code) to Sri Lanka. This is an incredibly exciting project that links directly with Sri Lankan authorities’ (ICTA) ambition to bring coding into the curriculum and IT literacy to the young masses.
When I came to Sri Lanka in 1999 I did so to find costeffective solutions for our software development needs in Oslo. We had some second thoughts about the ethics of “buying the best brains” and exporting the results to the benefit of our home economy, but 17 years later that picture has changed a lot!
Today, we see former employees and young talent right out of the universities starting their own companies and taking the knowledge industry further, with great potential to help solve many local challenges in transport, clean energy, waste management and other areas.
We also see our applications and services competing well in emerging markets as Asia economies begin to digitise and countries provide better education, health care and public services to their growing populations.
Sri Lanka is a great stepping stone to Asia for Norwegian companies and we look forward to welcoming you here!
President Norwegian Business Association Sri Lanka