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Tuesday, 11 September 2018 11:01

Premier advocates trad able economy

Published in World - Business

Sri Lanka’s economy should be transformed from a non-tradable one to a more tradable sector and the government’s current economic restructuring plan is aimed at achieving this goal, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday at the ceremony to award the ‘Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka’ in Colombo. The awards ceremony was organised by the International Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister said infrastructure development projects, made on foreign borrowings in the past 10 years were not properly focused and they were mainly on ports and airports, but not towards promoting the tradable sector of the economy. “Sri Lanka cannot depend on export revenue earned only from tea and apparel exports.”

Sri Lanka is now facing a huge debt trap and the way out of this is to look at more merchandise exports which have significantly decreased from by 33% in 2000 to 13.5% in 2017 and also promoting investments.” To meet this objective Wickremesinghe said that they will work with the private sector and are also in talks to review some of the tax on the corporate sector and bring in amendments.

He said that the Sri Lankan economy is not in the best of times. The Premier said that while facing severe economic conditions due to droughts in Sri Lanka and negative impact of the global economy, Sri Lanka’s trade openness has also reduced from 77.4% to 37.14%. In addition trade and current account deficits too are widening while debt servicing remains a daunting task. “All these have reflected in a dip in Sri Lanka’s economic growth which is between 4% and 4.5%.”Commenting on global economic conditions, he said that many countries are joining the fourth industrial revolution and Sri Lanka too should fall in line