Marketers call for Sri Lanka nation-branding efforts to be made on a unified theme

CB Governor Cabraal calls marketers to join hands with the government for trade, tourism and investment promotion

Sri Lankan marketers, while coming forward to support nation branding (one of the most daring challenges in global market entry) have also been asked to effect such promotional branding on a unified theme, instead of the piecemeal messaging style that is being practiced in global markets at present.

The leaders and members of Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), the apex body for Sri Lankan marketers, took a positive view of the government’s call made on 17 November for marketers ‘to come forward to globally position Brand Sri Lanka’ but also suggested a coherent approach to be adopted in it, across all three verticals of the country’s wealth generation-tourism, investment and international trade.

Marketers’ were forthcoming on the national invitation issued during an address made by the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal at the “Future Ready Economy Budget 2022” Panel Discussion organized by SLIM on 17 November. During the event, Governor Nivard Cabraal praised SLIM’s contribution to the country thus far while calling on Sri Lankan marketers to come forward to join government’s efforts to promote and position the country in the global arena. SLIM’s panel discussion of 17 November focused on the impact of the Budget 2022 on various aspects of Sri Lanka’s economy.

Addressing the session, Governor Cabraal said: “We need clarity to bring stability to the nation. No one realizes the importance of stability until they lose it. For this we have taken several steps during the last few weeks. You will see the effects of these changes in the coming weeks. New infrastructures such as the Colombo Port City and Hambanthota Port have huge economic potentials. You as the marketing community, have a great role to play here. Every facet of these potentials should be reflected in all minds across the world. We are targeting USD 150 billion GDP in the coming years. This will not be impossible if we set out the parameters. As marketers I saw you transform businesses and people but if you (as marketers) can transform the country, that shall be a great victory. Sri Lanka needs to package globally in a way that attracts international investments. This is achieved through such mechanisms as campaigns and roadshows. It is important for marketers and the government to work together to bring new investments to Sri Lanka.”

The reputed panel of speakers at the session consisted of Dr Ravi A. Fernando (Board Member, LOLC Holdings PLC, Aitken Spence Plantation Managements), Prof. Neelika Malavige, Head of Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the Sri Jayawardenepura University, Sujeewa Mudalige (Managing Partner, PWC Sri Lanka), Devindre Senaratne (Managing Director, JourneyScapes (Pvt) Ltd), Pasan Wanigasekara (DG-Board of Investment) and moderated by Shiran Fernando (Chief Economist-Ceylon Chamber of Commerce). The Panel Discussion on Budget 2022 that followed was broadcast live over SLIM’s Facebook page at

Ms. Thilanka Abeywardena, President, SLIM addressing the session said: “SLIM has been the National Body for Marketing in Sri Lanka for the past 51 years. SLIM supports the core objective of a Future Ready Sri Lanka. Through Future Ready Sri Lanka SLIM aims at encouraging entrepreneurship, innovation, skills, and knowledge-based industries for economic recovery in the new normal. Its overall focus on upskilling and education is expected to result in the knowledge based economy. SLIM has been contributing to the country’s development over the past five decades. The Pandemic changed how we live our lives and the way we run businesses changed. The future is about knowledge based and innovation driven industries. SLIM’s Future Ready Sri Lanka role is not one of a ‘plug and play’ but one that involves, in addition to upskilling, changing people’s mindsets to be able to face the future in the new normal. Today we wish to present SLIM’s Report titled “Implications of Budget 2022 on Marketers (Budget Proposals – November 2021)”. SLIM works with entrepreneurs of all sizes and shapes and is present widely in our business sector.”

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