Infrastructure must be developed alongside admin, legal frameworks: Finance Minister

June 20, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka wants to boost investments to make the country an export driven economic and financial hub of the Indian Ocean, the new finance minister said.

“Developing physical infrastructure must be done along with administrative and legal frameworks to ensure required policy or regulatory support to streamline and boost public and private investments,” Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

Samaraweera concluded his first official overseas visit after taking on his new role, taking part in the Board of Governors meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank held in Jeju Island in Republic of Korea.

“In order to achieve these objectives, the government has set out a high-level reform agenda in several key sectors of the economy, facilitating and empowering the private sector as the principle engine of growth,” he said.

“Formulation of a new trade and investment policy, tax reforms, and various other measures to improve investor climate are also being implemented.”

Given the rapid increase in climate related disasters in many countries, like the floods Sri Lanka faced recently, the building of climate/disaster resilient infrastructure will be of paramount importance for the future.

Samaraweera said, if we are to meet this challenge, we must incorporate climate resilient concepts into all future infrastructure development projects.

The minister also had the opportunity to meet Kim Dong-yeon, the deputy prime minister and the minister for strategy and finance of Republic of Korea, Arun Jaitley, finance minister of India, and Sri MulyaniIndrawati, finance minister of Indonesia for bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the AIIB Conference.