Policy consistency stimulates business, say biz leaders | Sunday Observer

Policy consistency stimulates business, say biz leaders

The country’s top business personalities sharing their success stories at a ‘Fireside Chat’ organized by the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in Colombo last week said the private sector is always prepared to extend its fullest support to the government in its efforts to boost economic growth.

However, the businessmen echoing the same sentiments reiterated the obvious need for policy consistency and stability in the country to stimulate business growth aided by foreign direct investments which has been slow to come by in the recent years.

“We are prepared to work hand in hand with the government and not be self centered in looking at our own interests. But what is worrying is the constant change in policy that makes it difficult for businesses to operate,” Founder, SoftLogic Holdings PLC Ashok Pathirage said.

Business sector heavyweights also made it clear to the gathering that they are not prepared to fund or back a single politician or politicians to curry favour.

Business tycoon Harry Jayawardena said honesty and hard work are the pillars that helped him achieve what he is today.

‘The ability to learn and fight for what you want have brought success to me,’ prominent entrepreneur and investor Dhammika Perera said.

Member, Board of Directors and Ex. Chairman Hirdaramani Group Janak Hirdaramani said a committed workforce and a profitable company is what success means.

Founder, Chairman MJF Group Merrill J. Fernando asked whether it is proper having come from humble beginnings to be a big millionaire and not to share and care for the poor. “Helping the poor has helped my business. Helping the poor is helping God,” he said.

“Success is all about setting goals for yourself and not just about money,” said Pathirage.

Speaking further he said high interest rates, the weakening currency, burgeoning debt and low foreign investments are stifling growth and they need to be addressed to put the economy on a solid path.

The ‘Fireside Chat’ was organised by ICCSL in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Sri Lanka Division and the Daily FT.