Sri Lanka’s growth model will be private sector driven – Mangala
Sri Lanka has expressed commitment to stronger multilateral cooperation, greater space for developing countries in the decision-making process of multilateral organisations and concessionary funding in order to achieve sustainable development.
Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, delivering a statement at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Annual General Meetings in Washington last week, has noted the development priorities of the Sri Lankan government by highlighting the need for greater equitable engagement between multilateral development organisations and developing countries such as Sri Lanka.
“The global economy continues its recovery. The relatively favourable growth performance offers an opportunity to effectively tackle key challenges to the global economy. This requires adapting the multilateral system to the changing global economy through active dialogue and cooperation among the international community while addressing valid country specific concerns and ensuring mutual benefits,” Samaraweera said.
“In the context of the IMF, we look forward to the completion of the 15th General Review of Quotas and a new formula that further shifts quota shares to emerging market and developing economies to reflect the new realities in the global economy.”
Sri Lanka’s growth model will be private sector-driven with exports and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as key pillars, supported by technological advancement and innovation, the Minister added in his statement.
“In this process, we are committed to improve human capital and skills, set up globally recognised regulatory mechanisms and investment practices, in addition to the improvement of physical infrastructure, and create the best possible enabling environment for Sri Lanka to attract more businesses, trade and investment to become a higher income country.”
“We will continue to work with the UN and other institutions by aligning the Government’s policy strategy with the ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Targets’ to be achieved by 2030. We have introduced three well thought out frameworks to manage the country’s fiscal policy, monetary policy and foreign exchange operations to ensure sound macroeconomic policies.”
According to Samaraweera, structural reforms including revamping state-owned enterprises will be done to ensure efficient management and strengthen financial viability.
The Finance Minister expressed confidence at the World Bank’s latest lending program for Sri Lanka would enhance its role in the country’s development and assist to reduce income disparities as well as increase female participation in the economy.
“In order to achieve the desired objectives however, it is essential that more concessionary financial assistance through innovative financial tools and products from international financial institutions is available to develop the infrastructure facilities of the lagging regions and also to provide basic needs such as health, education and sanitary facilities.”
“We strongly believe these are essential ingredients for development with reconciliation.”
The statement by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the annual general meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions is encouraging for the private sector players in the Sri Lankan economy. The fact that the government is considering economic growth through the private sector along with exports and foreign direct investments (FDIs) would result in state assistance in strengthening and developing innovative private businesses. It would also result in the government’s keen pursuit of free trade agreements with foreign countries that would further benefit businesses in the country. Hence, Sri Lanka would be the ideal hotspot for business.
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