Sri Lankan minister highlights commitment to open trade and investments
Sri Lanka’s Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrema has expressed the country’s commitment to open trade and investment as a means to achieve more inclusive socioeconomic growth at the opening of the World Export Development Forum in Budapest, Hungary.
A report in the local media states that speaking at the first plenary of the forum, which was inaugurated by Hungarian President János Áder, Samarawickrama has said the government was of the firm belief that an outward-oriented strategy was the surest path to the prosperity of the Sri Lankan people.
“We have realised Sri Lanka cannot progress from a low middle-income country without being more open to trade and investments with the outside world and without aggressively promoting exports,” the Minister has said.
Samarawickrema has reportedly told the WEDF opening, that Sri Lanka was forging greater bilateral trade and investment agreements with Singapore, China and India.
The Minister has addressed the plenary session titled ‘Making trade work for the 99%’, which explored how trade can work for all with business leaders and policymakers looking at policy and practice to boost competitiveness.
According to media reports, the Minister has also shared some of the ongoing initiatives of the Sri Lankan government since the 2016 WEDF which Sri Lanka hosted.
Emphasis had been laid on the broader goal of steering the country towards achieving an export performance of $ 20 billion per year by 2020 from the current level of US$ 11 billion.
The other is the work on the National Export Strategy with the support of ITC. He said the strategy, which looks at priority sectors and trade support functions prepared by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and the private sector, was in its final phase and a steering committee would be set up shortly to see its implementation by June 2018.
The WEDF 217 was also informed about the comprehensive Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy being firmed up with the support of the World Bank.
“Once launched it will include a range of measures to boost competitiveness of exporters, especially SMEs and startups,” the Samarawickrema has added.
The commitment to open trade and investments expressed by Minister Samarawickrema at an international forum backed by the statement that Sri Lanka cannot progress from a low middle-income country without being more open to trade and investments with the outside world and without aggressively promoting exports shows a growing business hub in the island nation. It would therefore be a hub of opportunities for the discerning investor covering many sectors.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/27102017/Z_4|