Sri Lanka president calls for hard work to sustain economic growth

March 30, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse Friday called for increased productivity and efficiency in both the state and private sector to sustain the momentum of economic growth which hit record levels last year. The growth of 7.4 percent achieved last year despite many challenges proved the validity of the government’s defence and economic policies, Rajapakse said at the presentation of the Central Bank’s annual report for 2006.

Record Run

The bank said Sri Lanka’s continued high economic expansion demonstrated its sustained resilience with the GDP growth rate the highest since 1978 and an unemployment rate of 6.5 per cent, the lowest ever.

However, the bank warned that despite these improvements there were some concerns, in particular the overrun of recurrent expenditure, under-performing public investment and high bank financing (money printing) of the deficit.

Rajapakse said the government had scored military successes against terrorism and also achieved economic victories in 2006; showing that its policy of ensuring economic growth while fighting terrorism was working.

This growth was achieved despite many obstacles faced last year, such as record oil prices, an