By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The government will continue 289 infrastructure projects worth more than rupees five trillion despite current economic challenges, State Minister for Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal said.
” Sri Lanka was able to pull through a very difficult period due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Despite those challenges the government was able to maintain macroeconomic fundamentals reasonably well. Further, the rupee has depreciated by 6.8 percent last year and to prevent further rupee depreciation, the Central Bank has taken prudent decisions, State Minister Cabraal said at the Annual General Meeting of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka. The event was held at Kingsbury Hotel last Tuesday. At the event Nandika Buddhipala was elected the new President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka for the year 2021.[/size][/left]
‘In 2020 the government set up macro environmental fundamentals in a proper manner that have set up the platform for stable economic growth this year. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic situation we were quite resilient and our exports touched US$ 2 billion and imports touched US $ 3 billion and, therefore, we were able to reduce the balance of trade by US$ one billion, Cabraal said.
Further, foreign remittances increased by 6 percent during last year. Due to the placing of macro environment fundamentals Sri Lanka could achieve 4 percent to 5 percent GDP growth, Cabraal said.
Cabraal added – “Despite all odds we will increase public investments in a reasonable manner to move forward infrastructure projects, which had come to a standstill during the last regime.
‘The Port City project would be a very good project for Sri Lanka and it would start its development work soon. Once it’s started it would generate many employment opportunities for the country.
‘As the Chamber is involved in supporting the SME sector we need equity funds to develop, apart from bank debt capital. With the development of the stock market activities, SME sector should inject not only debt capital but also equity capital.’
Newly elected president Nandika Buddhipala said it is vital for SMEs and micro SMEs in Sri Lanka to access overseas markets through a credible authentic platform. By creating such a platform for Sri Lanka, the National Chamber believes that Sri Lankan products will reach their market destinations easily.
‘To meet this requirement the National Chamber has embarked on a nationally important mission to develop and professionally manage a web based platform, he added.
THIS IS CERTAINLY A BIG NEWS FOR AEL!