Sri Lanka Commonwealth biz forum can create wealth, cut poverty: President Rajapaksa

Nov 12, 2013 (LBO) – A Commonwealth business forum in Colombo can forge new partnerships that can create wealth and reduce poverty, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Sri Lanka has seen strong economic growth thanks to pragmatic policies, and there was a strategy to go forward making the country an economic hub, he said.

The forum with 1,500 delegates is the largest in the history of the Commonwealth made up of countries of the former British Empire.

The Commonwealth was made up of countries with per capital incomes ranging from 150 to 50,000 US dollars President Rajapaksa said.

The forum could forge partnerships that can create new wealth which can reduce poverty with more equitable distribution, he said.

The Colombo forum had drawn delegates from 95 countries including 30 outside the Commonwealth.

Recent economic shocks had impacted emerging nations but growth has been stronger in Asia helping create a balance, he said.

But poverty was still a problem, a recurring theme in the Commonwealth that dating back to the 1971 Singapore declaration.

President Rajapaksa said economic growth was vital to reduce poverty and there should equi