Constructive policy framework vital to propel growth strategy - CCC Chief | Sunday Observer

Constructive policy framework vital to propel growth strategy - CCC Chief

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya
Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya

The newly inducted Chairperson of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Dr Hans Wijayasuriya called upon the private sector to propel the growth trajectory of the country while requesting the government to have a constructive policy framework.

He was speaking at the 180th AGM of the Chamber in Colombo recently.

“Today, 17 committees within the Chamber eco-system are working on bringing together a Private Sector led action plan towards reaching a 140 bn dollar economy combined with 7% growth rates and regionally benchmarked social development indices by 2025. In line with the vision of the chamber, our aspirations for economic and social advancement will be indelibly anchored on the fundamental of social equity,” he said.

“Our concern is for our nation’s economy, and therefore, the long-term well-being of our people are not unfounded and are reflective of economic performance realities. We are today a 90 bn dollar economy – when placed within a set of 10 comparable regional peers, comprising all SAARC nations plus Indonesia and Malaysia of ASEAN, our economy is ranked the fourth smallest in absolute terms.

“The future of our economy as well as our nation at large will be what we make of it. We are born to a nation blessed with world class talent. We have in our midst large, medium and small enterprises that in their own right, are global, regional and domestic champions – a private sector which has collectively weathered many waves of economic, political and external turmoils over the past three decades and which has on all occasions bounced back to a trajectory of growth creating a foundation for peace and harmony in its wake.

“In contrast with resilience, the sentiment of despondence instills myopia in vision and stunts creativity – a counterproductive vortex which will take us deeper in to mediocre economic performance. “The call of the hour is, therefore, to have no forbearance for despondence.

If we are the engine of growth of the Sri Lankan economy – we need to be resolute in our belief that as a collective, we have the capacity to re-mobilise a growth trajectory at least on par with our regional peers,” Wijayasuriya said.

“Each action we take individually may admittedly be a small step of faith as opposed to a giant leap – but collectively, we will make strides – it is hence imperative to catalyse a wave of economic resurgence – resurgence which envisions the return to growth rates of 7-8% within the next five years – resurgence which also places us in a leading position in terms of growth, competitiveness and social development indices relative to our regional peers.

“Leading the resurgence - as opposed to hoping for brighter externalities - is the mindset change the private sector will need to undertake in these times of uncertainty.

“We can be proud, however, of the fact that we hold a third rank in terms of per-capita GDP. In this respect, we are also the highest ranked within SAARC. Of concern, however, is that our growth rate of 3.7% is the lowest - that is 10th ranked in this same 10-country set. It is hence the going forward trajectory we need to be concerned with, especially in a frame relative to our regional peers. “As we move forward into the 2020-25 period, we are no doubt entering an era of exponential change - a period during which we will see quantum transformation in the foundations of global competitiveness and a phenomenal opportunity for smaller and agile nations.

“The capturing of this opportunity would, however, need us to exploit with keen awareness, the mega trends, realities and tools of this emerging age. There are four transformational trends which will provide us a springboard to leapfrog, first, the ethos of Inclusion and the thesis of ‘Inclusive Capitalism’, second, the mega trends around the fourth Industrial Revolution, third, the power of eco-systems and fourth the acceleration of pervasive globalisation.

“The competitiveness of individuals, businesses and nations would depend not only on the strengths and capabilities of the individual or monolithic business but on the power and competitiveness of the physical and virtual eco-systems of which they are a part.

“The Chamber will continue to bring together the energy and aspirations of the private sector in articulating our collective vision for the country’s economy.

The Chamber will also enable eco-system links across the full spectrum of the economic pyramid.

“From Government we seek enablement – a call for constructive policy frameworks designed to enable growth,” he said.