Inclusive development vital for Sri Lanka’s future: Minister

Mar 23, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should take maximum advantage of peace and go for inclusive growth enabling all citizens to move towards minimum economic disparity, the Minister of Investment Promotion said while addressing a local forum recently.

“We have the opportunity to reap the benefits of a peaceful environment, after a long conflict and losing many lives. The next step is to make this country an inclusive one,” Kabir Hashim, Minister, Investment Promotion, Highways and Higher Education said.

“Inclusive means where the benefits will go to all the inhabitants, everybody should have a fair even playing ground and make everybody partners in the process.”

Since the end of the conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka has achieved economic growth above seven percent on average and a relatively stable macro-economic position with low inflation and interest rates.

The fiscal deficit has also been steadily reduced while the balance of payments have remained stable and investment in infrastructure has increased.

However the islands household income has not kept pace with the GDP growth.

Economist have pointed out that sustainable economic growth requires inclusive growth which is a concept that advances equitable opportunities for economic participants during economic growth with benefits incurred by every section of society through implying a direct link between macroeconomic and microeconomic factors of the economy of a county.

Hashim said, it is critical to make all the citizens partners in the process of inclusivity for the country to move forward in the future.

“One of the main reasons we had conflict for long years, is economic disparity,”

“It’s one of the critical areas we need to address. Sometime people forget that all other issues ethnic conflict, religious conflict finally go down to economic social reasons,”

“That is why inclusive development is paramount for Sri Lanka’s future and the role you (Private sector) pay in raising the much needed capital becomes very important,”

“We want to bring everybody together and make them partners in the process and have direction to move forward.” he said.