Sri Lanka business says worker training key in former war zone

Dec 11, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s former war zones in the north and east need vocational training to raise worker productivity, corporate leaders have told a visiting American diplomat. Better water supply and cold storage facilities to bring fresh produce to markets were also critical requirements, they told US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake during a meeting, an embassy statement said.

The meeting, organised by the embassy and American Chamber of Commerce, was on reconstruction and rehabilitation in the north and east and new development opportunities available in the post-conflict era.

It brought together business leaders from leading corporations, representatives of regional chambers of commerce and the US Agency for International Development.

The business leaders told Blake, a former US ambassador in Colombo, there are still a number of challenges to increased economic growth in the north and east.

“Worker productivity is low for agricultural production and industrial production, so there needs to be a significant training program, especially vocational training, to prepare for emerging economic opportunities,” the statement said.

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