Written by Staff Writer
17 Sep, 2019 | 9:46 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2019 commenced in Colombo today (September 16). The two-day event is themed ‘Re-calibrating Sri Lanka’s Economic Trajectory Towards 2025,’ to guide Sri Lanka’s journey towards development and prosperity.
Today’s event brought together over 450 local and international participants consisting of prominent business leaders, policymakers, and experts who play a key role in shaping national development in their respective countries.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister noted that the economy is stable. He humorously stated that the government was blaggarded with high-interest rates, for money not being in the market. He added that he was blaggarded on behalf of the Central Bank and ultimately it had worked and they managed to stabilize the economy to an extent.
He shared that the government had to take unpopular decisions in their crusade. He added that the government is not there to take popular decision but to take necessary decisions. Premier went on to note that no government could accomplish everything in five years, however within five years they were able to lay the foundation.
The Prime Minister added that they had their ups and downs as they were in an unfitting alliance and now they have the opportunity to start clean where they left off. The Premier contemplated on the strategies and noted that the government must have a fiscal policy that contains debt however it should not be allowed to rise.
He added that they should open more avenues for investors and they should have reforms to boost private investments and productivity.
Premier went on to note that they are building on the Indian FTA and in addition, they are looking at FTA’s with Sri Lanka’s main trading partners Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China as well as with Japan. He added that if a comprehensive regional economic program comes in Sri Lanka should join them.
Prime Minister added that Sri Lanka must have a highly competitive economy and we have to join the global value train, a chain as there was no other way out.
Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Finance noted that if the SOE’s are to move forward the state monopoly and the intervention would cease. Minister added that it was the foremost condition that was necessary to see them come to fruition.
Minister added that they also intend to go for PPP’s public-private partnerships, however, they would not deem successful as long as the government holds a majority of shares.
He added that SriLankan Airlines is a fine example for these, as no self-respecting company in the world would not intend to invest as long as Sri Lankan government holds operational control. Minister added that the last resort was to trust in the private sector to redeem them.
However, in the past experts held a different view on signing Free Trade Agreements. Howard Nicholas, Associate Professor of the Institute of Social Studies noted that this was a manipulated theory taught by developed countries to underdeveloped countries to get them to what they desire. The Professor went on to note that this is garbage fed by them. He added that they are hypocritic and they do not believe in free trade as they only protect their own market.
Therefore when statements are made, they need to be backed by solid facts.
Hence, if one simply makes random utterances, is it not wise for some people to step down, as it would assist the nation as a whole to prosper?
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