Sri Lanka’s rich western province leads economic growth again in 2005

December 21 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s rich western province has led the list again of top contributors to the island’s economic growth last year, the Central Bank said, though service sector expansion boosted fortunes of poorer areas. “Product diversification could reduce concentration in a few crops that dampen the marketability of such produce profitably due to excess supply as was seen in 2005 where producer prices of paddy dropped considerably during the year due to excess production.”

In addition, infrastructure like better roads, telecom services and port development could attract investors to rural areas where land is cheaper and there are more incentives for start up businesses.

Last year, the western province grew 15.4 percent, contributing 51 percent to the country’s total GDP, while the outermost Eastern province, Uva, North Central and Northern provinces contributed less than five percent each to the national economy.

The North Western, Southern, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces contributed six to nine percent each to the total GDP, the Central Bank said.

The per capita value added in the western province was also 1.8 times the national average, while it was below average for all other prov