Sri Lanka’s political parties should agree on a common long-term plan: PM

Mar 31, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s politicians and parties should think of a common long-term plan to pursue its vision of becoming a successful knowledge based economy in the region, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

“We have to agree on a common 20 year plan to drive the island towards a knowledge based economy through self-sufficiency in the energy sector,” Wickremesinghe said.
“We have a cabinet with several different political parties under President Sirisena and now we have also got the support of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party that was missing earlier.”

Sri Lanka’s new regime which came to power in early January, formed a national government with the island’s main political parties comprising the United National Party, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Jathika Hela Urumaya and the Muslim congress.

Critics complain that policy inconsistency in Island’s political arena make not only foreign investors uncomfortable but also local businesses.
Wickremesinghe made these comments at the launch of Sri Lanka’s energy sector development plan for a knowledge based economy 2015 – 2025 in Colombo, Tuesday.

He said the country can look at examples of other similar countries like Singapore or Korea on the path to become knowledge based economy.

“These countries did not have natural resources they only had a human resource,” Wickremesinghe said.

“In another 5 – 10 years that is in 2020/5 we should aim at a higher per capita income than Malayasia, Thailand or Indonesia,”

According to the Central Bank, Sri Lanka’s per capita income has increased to 3,280 US dollers in 2013 from 2,922 US dollars in 2012.

Sri Lanka plans to increase its per capita income to a target of around 4,000 US dollars by 2016.

Thiland’s per capita in 2013 was 5,779 US dollars.