May 31, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s newly appointed finance minister says to bring sustained investment and growth, Sri Lanka has to ensure peace and reconciliation while also setting up corresponding globally recognized regulatory mechanisms and investment practices.
“Without reconciliation and durable peace, without guarantees of non-recurrence of conflict, Sri Lanka cannot achieve economic success,” Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said Tuesday at the “Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2017: Growth through Partnerships,” organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
“Human rights, democracy, rule of law, good governance are all tied to stability, and in turn, to economic success.”
He stressed that reconciliation and development are intertwined and with out it, and the stable foundation that it would bring, sustainable economic progress would once again elude our nation.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s economic plan presented in parliament last October would be the blueprint the government would follow, Samaraweera said.
Speaking on the way forward with regard to trade agreements he said that the government would work on improving the investment climate, as well as strengthening trade policy and trade facilitation.
“I assure you that all these agreements will be negotiated carefully with positive and negative lists and have safeguard’s like dispute settlement mechanisms,”
“If all goes well by end 2017 Sri Lanka would have preferential access to a market of nearly three billion people.”
He said it would be able to complete the Singaporean trade agreement before the end of the year, and the restoration of the GSP+ facility earlier this month was a remarkable expression on confidence in Sri Lanka.
“For Sri Lanka to achieve a higher income category state; building physical infrastructure alone will not help, we will have to have corresponding globally recognized regulatory mechanisms and investment practices that meets Sri Lanka’s aspirations to become a regional hub for financial services for international trade.”