The Central Bank last week removed several foreign exchange controls. The new guidelines have already been issued to commercial banks and other institutions.
“We had a closed economy in the 1970s and some of these regulations were imposed during that period,” Mr. Chandrawansa said. Such restrictions were not compatible with an open market economy. “We cannot encourage foreign investment while closing outward remittance. If we close one side, foreigners and investors wouldn’t want to bring money here. If you invest in a country, if you think you can’t take out money—whatever you want, whenever you want—you are not going to invest in that country,” he said.
“We had that problem before. That’s why foreign investors are not coming here. With easier circulation of foreign money, they can invest here and can easily repatriate money. We want to increase foreign exchange transactions within the country,” the Exchange Controller said.