Sri Lanka looks to boost economic growth despite obstacles

June 07, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to accelerate and broaden its development activities despite the internal conflict, the island’s president said Wednesday, as an expanding budget deficit threatened to undermine growth this year. We need to fearlessly combat terrorism and develop without making it an excuse, President Mahinda Rajapakse said in a statement at the opening of an economic summit organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

The economic growth of 7.4 percent (in 2006) while facing serious challenges was no accident, Rajapakse said in a speech read by his secretary Lalith Weeratunga at the summit.

Its technical sessions will be held on June 7-8 at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.

Lopsided

The government is looking to improve infrastructure under its ten-year development framework known as the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’, one of the aims of which is to ensure balanced growth in all regions.

Recent surveys have revealed that Sri Lanka’s development has been lop-sided with the Western province alone accounting for half of GDP.

If we are to reach the living standards of developed countries or become somewhat similar, we need to have 8 percent economic growth per year, Rajapa