Mandate for accelerated growth:
Business community hails President’s victory
The business community has hailed the victory of President Mahinda
Rajapaksa at the recently concluded presidential elections as an
opportunity to forge ahead with its development plan and bring about
economic prosperity to the country.
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Management and Finance, University of
Colombo, Prof. H. D. Karunaratne said the conclusion of the election
will help restore stability and create a conducive environment for
economic revival in the country.
He said sustaining political stability and ensuring a consistent
foreign policy are essential factors for sound economic growth. Investor
confidence depends on consistency and transparent policies.
“Steps taken to expedite resettlement, rural infrastructure and port
development across the country will help achieve high economic growth”,
Prof. Karunaratne said.
Bridging the language divide, ICT knowledge enhancement, professional
training and utilising the unemployed labour force are vital components
to increase productivity and efficiency in the manufacturing sector.
Creating a vibrant export market and reducing imports are key
requirements to spearhead growth”, he said.
Chairman, Export Development Board (EDB), Anil Koswatte said the
election victory is a clear mandate for the Mahinda Chintana Idiri Dekma
which envisages accelerated economic growth through a vigorous export
The EDB has already drawn up an integrated program with the Ministry
of Finance to achieve an export turnover of over US$ 20 billion by 2020.
“The 2020 export development plan will be launched immediately with
mega promotions and incentives for export oriented sectors”, he said.
The EDB has identified 14 sectors that have the potential to surpass
US$ 1 billion export in revenue a year. Rubber based products, gem
diamond and jewellery, electronic and electrical products, ICT, BPO and
Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), fisheries, spices and allied
products, mineral products, food and beverage, professional services,
footwear and leather products and boat building have been identified
under the program.
The tea and apparel sector export turnover has exceeded the US$ 1
President, Sri Lanka Chamber of Small Industries Aloy Jayawardana
said the Chamber congratulates President Rajapaksa on his election for
the second term and added that it was a mandate to continue his
development program for the country.
“Greater access to financing, simplification of the tax structure and
incentives for SMEs will help enhance the contribution of the small
industrialist to the economy”, he said.
Director, Financial Services Academy Dr. Dissa Bandara said political
stability is a must for economic development. In-consistency would lead
to loss of confidence of investors and productivity.
“Capital market growth depends on more companies coming on board to
trade in a free environment.Liberal economic and trade policies are
important for capital market growth”, he said.
“The thirty-year war hampered growth of the private sector which is
the engine of growth of a country. Relaxation of taxation, incentives,
sound monetary policies and utilisation of professionals for research
and development irrespective of political affiliations are a key
component for growth”, Dr. Bandara said.
President, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, Srilal
Miththapala said the Association was happy to note that there was no
violence during the presidential elections and extended his warm
congratulations to President Rajapaksa on his election for a second
“We will now look forward to continue and improve the close
association we had with the President and build on that continuity”, he
State Revenue and Deputy Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya
said the election victory is a clear endorsement of the development
program of President Rajapaksa who had eradicated terrorism and now set
the stage for economic growth.
“When President Rajapaksa took office in 2005 he had two challenges,
namely eliminating terrorism and developing the economy. The first
challenge has been overcome and now the economy is poised to take off’,
“Despite waging a war, a six percent GDP growth was recorded
consecutively, foreign reserves topped US$ 5 billion and inflation
dropped to a single digit last year.
The decline in the unemployment rate to around five percent and
revival in tourism were remarkable achievement despite all odds”, he
A top official of the Central Bank said it was now time for all
communities to unite and develop the country.
An environment free from terror has been created and that would help
build on the economic growth that has already been achieved in the past
“Posting a GDP growth of six percent, foreign reserves exceeding US$
5 billion and a sharp drop in inflation are indications that the country
is poised to achieve an unprecedented growth”, he said.