May 15, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the government is seeking investor support to develop the Island’s economy and assured it’s full support for improving the ease of doing business.
“I’m sure the environment is rather buoyant for investors to come in. This is the time the Prime Minister and our government are looking for your support to help us to achieve make Sri Lanka a better tomorrow,’ Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance said at a forum held in Colombo, Thursday.
“This is incumbent on us because the way forward is to ensure that we showcase Sri Lanka and ensure we sell Sri Lanka to the world.”
“We have to position ourselves as one of the best for investors in the region and we want your support because you are the ambassadors who go to the market,”
The Minister said; let us take the bureaucracy in the government representative tag out to show that we (Government and Private sector) are equal partners,”
“This would be better than the time that private sector comes only to get the job done from us.”
According to World Bank’s doing business in Sri Lanka ranking improved to 99 in 2015 compared to 105 in 2014.
Critics say the government economic stance is not investment friendly and drives investors away. According to them, the new administration’s interim budget didn’t send the right signals to the investors.
But Karunanayake said otherwise.
“The government spelt out our initial economic policy through the interim budget, we certainly showed the new direction that we want to change Sri Lanka in,” Karunanayake said.
“We showed how financial visibility could be while also ensuring, as the consumer and the voter were expecting many offers from us, we delivered to them,”
“I’m sure half of the business sector got a little worried of what was going on. But they know when we said it was one off because it is one off,”
“Now it’s time to get into business,”
“We have reduced the fuel prices, the transport prices, cost of living, electricity prices, interest rate etc,”
“So certainly, you do not have a facilitation cost anymore. There is no familiarization fee you need to pay. You do not need to get close to anybody to get those to be paid. We eradicated that. You have very many cost relief,”
Karunanayake made these comment at a meeting with the private sector to discuss the problems of doing businesses in the island and provide policy solution.
The forum was held monthly, representing policy makers and private sector investors to find solutions for existing problems in Sri Lanka’s business environment.
Karunanayake said that Sri Lankan investors should be the ambassadors to the world promoting doing business in the Island.
“If existing investors have problems, why should foreign investors come to our country and have problems?”
“So you need to showcase, the problems are being solved here,”
“Make sure the government representative here gets to know what the problem is, the investors and potential investors spread out the problem they have and use it and not misuse it. That is what we got to do,”
“Sri Lanka was off the map for many years and now we see it coming back and we need to make this to happen.”