Global giant Michelin to start making tires in Sri Lanka

Michelin, the second largest tire manufacturer in the world, is set to begin manufacturing in Sri Lanka, according to the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. (BOI)

By acquiring Camso Lodestar the leader in the manufacture of solid rubber tires in the country and a BOI enterprise, Michelin is now established here and will start their operations through that company.

A delegation from the French tire manufacturing giant met with the BOI chairman Hemasiri Fernando and Champika Malalgoda, Director General of the BOI recently.

Eric Le Corre, Group Director Public Affairs of the Michelin group stated:” we have closed the deal with Camso and we are now a very significant player in Sri Lanka. It is also important to note that our incoming CEO has visited Sri Lanka and appreciates the importance that this country will play in Michelin’s future operations”

He also emphasised on Michelin’s global reputation.

“Let me further state that the Michelin group is the second largest tire manufacturer in the world and is best known for having invented the detachable tire. Our group is present in 17 countries and our total staff strength is approximately 114,000. In Asia we are very strong in countries like Thailand, China and India and now Sri Lanka.”

Le Corre added that Sri Lanka is good in areas such as labour standards, which is very important to Western European consumers who place a considerable importance on high ethical standards of manufacture.

Eric Le Corre, Group Director for Public Affairs of Michelin was accompanied by Nandita Khurana, Zone Head- Legal Africa, India, Middle East and Director Public Affairs & Government Affairs- India and Keerthi Bandara, CFO/Executive Director of Camso Lodestar.  Also participating at the discussions were Eric Lavertu, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and Herve Sarnelli, Economic Counsellor, Embassy of France.

Hemasiri Fernando, Chairman of the BOI assured the Michelin delegation that the BOI will fast-track the process and make every effort to ensure that Michelin’s operation will be smooth.

He added ”we will leave no stone unturned to make it a success. We are very proud that you decided to opt to invest in Sri Lanka and look forward to future co-operation. Let me assure you that Sri Lanka is now on an upward trend and that there is once again renewed interest in investing in the island.  We would also welcome more French companies to opt to consider investing in Sri Lanka and I have no doubt that Michelin’s decision will send a very positive message within France, Europe and globally”.

Chairman Hemasiri Fernando was assisted by Champika Malalgoda, Director General of the BOI, Dilip S.Samarasinghe, Director (Media & Publicity) and Ms Nilupul de Silva, Director (Promotion).

Mergers and acquisitions form the single largest component of Foreign Direct Investment globally and they are more common in developed economies where well established enterprises are attractive to potential investors.