Sri Lanka’s business community confident of economic development under stable government
Sri Lanka’s business community and trade chambers have hailed the recent landslide victory recorded by the governing party.
They believe that the stable political environment created by the two thirds majority secured by the governing party under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa would help the country’s economic growth.
Sri Lanka’s state owned Daily News had published recently the comments of several members of the business community and trade chambers where they had welcomed the new government which they had described as stable and expressed its wish list on what would be the priority for it for continued economic growth and development.
Following are excerpts of the views expressed by several corporate heads and trade chambers:
President of Sri Lanka’s Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) Nawaz Rajabdeen: “Sri Lankan SMEs have strong, newfound hope on the incoming new administration for their long overdue revival. We are certain President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will listen to our concerns and deliver within the next five years.”
Rajabdeen who is also a past President of Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) has stressed that he expected President Rajapaksa would receive the necessary backing from the newly elected Parliament to develop MSMEs, industries and business communities across the country.
“We are sure that the President together with the new parliament will support all citizens regardless of their castes and religions. His support to uplift and upgrade industries in all districts is the next viable step. We are certain President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will listen to our concerns and deliver within the next five years. We are hopeful of the new government on pursuing a medium to long term development strategy for our MSMEs and industries.”
National Chamber of Exporters Secretary General/CEO Shiham Marikar: “It was very important for any government to look after the export sector as it is a major revenue earner as well, which was required for the balance of payments.
“The Government must get the Sri Lankan foreign missions to actively get involved in promoting exports. He also suggested that the government should be getting digital marketing to promote exports.”
The International Chamber of Commerce President Dinesh Weerakkody: “The ICCSL congratulates Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and leaders of the SLPP on their victory at the recent General Election. As a member of the world’s largest business chamber with over 45 million business organisations around the world, ICCSL looks forward to working with the new government.”
Chairman of the Joint Apparel Association Forum A. Sukumaran: “While we congratulate the new Government We will be happy to work with them to take new policies forward which we will be proposing aimed at increasing growth in exports.”
Chairman of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka Sanath Ukwatte has said the recovery of COVID 19 was going to take up to another two years and has requested the government of Sri Lanka to extend the moratoria which were given to the industry, which was to lapse in September 2020, by another 6 months. He has said that the decision of opening the Airports was a matter for the Government to take.
He also said that he and the industry would not put pressure on the government to open the airports, claiming that the health aspects of the country were more important.
CEO Shippers Academy Rohan Masakorala has said that given the strong mandate given by the people of the country to the newly elected government it is a suitable time period to make long term decisions on the shipping industry.
Masakorala has noted that industry stakeholders look for consistency and that the government with the election result is in a very strong position to provide that consistency.
Masakorala has added that the lack of historic consistency in policy for the industry and cites it as a major cause behind the lack of sustained development in shipping on the island. Masakorala commended the peaceful nature of the election.
Chairman of Chamber of Industries and Commerce Yalpanam (Jaffna) Stephen Leonard has expressed happiness to see that the election was peaceful.
He has said there was much and calm quiet during the election period.
The Chamber is happy to work with any government towards the development of the region. Leonard noted that credit to the region was vital for development.
A stable government always heralds strong economic growth. The two thirds majority received by the governing party would help build on the economic policies and work towards achieving set targets. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, ease of doing business environment and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country will definitely help make the island a business hub in the South Asian region.
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