President wants Sri Lanka to become export-oriented economy

President wants Sri Lanka to become export-oriented economy

President wants Sri Lanka to become export-oriented economy

Written by Zulfick Farzan

01 Sep, 2022 | 5:30 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has accepted the IMF staff level
agreement for US $ 2.9 Billion.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe meeting with the IMF Delegation in Colombo on Thursday (1) said that this is an important step in the history of Sri Lanka. 

“Not only rising from the bankruptcy crisis and the debt moratorium, it is also key to ensure that our social sectors are protected and both our economic and social aspect of our lifestyle will certainly not have any further setbacks,” said the President.

Accordingly, President Wickremesinghe noted that he considers this to be the beginning of a new economic era where the country is committed to a very competitive export oriented industry while maintaining and improving social standards as well as looking after the vulnerable groups.

“The beginning will be difficult, but we know as we go on that we can make more progresses. Our commitment is what matters now and we should not only fulfill the targets here, but we must get ahead of them,” the President said, adding, “I appeal to the country, let us reorient ourselves to an export oriented economy which will also make it easier for us to sustain our social services.”

He also said that it also should be a beginning for the fact that Sri Lanka should reduce its debts and if possible, even eliminate its debts.

On a personal note, the President said, “I would like to say that when I was born, Sri Lanka had no debt and we had sufficient reserves to lend to the UK which was recovering from war times. We had made enough out of our rubber, and our tea and we built our first reservoir out of our own initiative. Now that was the government of Mr. D.S. Senanayake. And he believed in one principle that a nation and a person should be debt free. He was the Chairman of the Lay Organization of the Buddhist sects in this country and like all others, was Committed to follow the doctrine that people should not get into debt and there should not be insolvency.”

Therefore, the President noted that if the country is to uphold Article 09 of the Constitution, it must follow that path. “You can’t pay lip-service only. And let this be the beginning and the way forward because on the 75th anniversary of our independence this is the best commitment we can make for the next 25 years.”

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Peter Breuer and Mr. Masahiro Nozaki visited Colombo from August 24 to September 1, 2022 to continue discussions on IMF support for Sri Lanka and the authorities’ comprehensive economic reform program.

At the end of the mission, issuing a statement the IMF team said the Sri Lankan authorities and the IMF team have reached staff-level agreement to support the authorities’ economic adjustment and reform policies with a new 48-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with a requested access of about SDR 2.2 billion (equivalent to US$2.9 billion).

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