Prime Minister encourages private sector growth expansion - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Prime Minister encourages private sector growth expansion

Prime Minister encourages private sector growth expansion

Speaking at the CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe who was the Chief Guest at the event said that the coming 24 months would be critical to the island’s debt management.
He added that the government was in the process of formulating a structure to develop anempoweringbusiness culture.
But he called on the private sector to extend its cooperation to boost growth by taking advantage of policy. He also encouraged the private sector to maximise technological advancements to explore novel growth possibilities.
“If the economy doesn’t tick there is nothing you can do,” he said, outlining several policy initiatives taken by the Government, including fiscal consolidation, inflation targeting, encouraging growth and further liberalising the economy. “We are now putting the responsibility on you. Go for growth. We want you to expand,” stated the PM.
“If we can hold our budget for the next two years we can get through. The highest debt servicing payments are coming in the next two years,” he added, recalling how debt ballooned under the previous Government and the steps taken by his administration to stabilise the macroeconomic environment. However, he acknowledged that Sri Lanka still faced the dual challenge of improving exports and investment,” he said.
“Where does growth come? We have changed the previous policy of trying to use commercial loans for Government-funded infrastructure to drive growth, which never works. Now we are putting the responsibility on all you ladies and gentlemen here and others in the private sector,” he further added.
He also encouraged the private sector to maximise the use of the government’s initiatives like the various investment zones, industry corridors, Hambantota Port, Mattala Airport, Port City investments and the Megapolis plan.
“How can we unleash the potential of the Sri Lankan entrepreneur? How do we encourage private foreign direct investment? With GSP+ you have 6,000 items to export but I don’t think we are even sending 60 to the European Union. There is a new ease of doing business. If we don’t do this we will be nowhere. Having said this what are we going to do in the next three years for growth? We want you all to expand. What are our advantages? You have to go by comparative advantages and the future depends on technology and innovation,” Wickremesinghe stated.
Commenting on Bangladesh’s per capita income overtaking that of Pakistan, the PM stressed on Sri Lanka’s need to increase its competitiveness unless it wanted to lag behind the region’s other economies, adding that should that happen the country would have no one else to blame but itself.
“Where are we? The area we live between Iran and Indonesia will have at least 500 million more people by 2050. This is not only adding population but more and more people will come out of poverty. So this is the market to be in; just imagine providing higher education for all these people? So here in the Indian Ocean there will be a new growth wave,” he reiterated.


The Prime Minister’s commitment to promoting and encouraging private sector growth through technological adoption is an indicator that Sri Lanka is concentrating on embracing modern trade practices and increasing its market competitiveness. This will encourage enterprising innovators and investors to exploit the country’s possibilities with the aid of the government. It would also open up greater opportunities for public private partnerships (PPPs) in the near future.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/14092017/Z_4

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