By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
The Lord Mayor of London expressed that Sri Lanka is coming out of a dark spot, and following the next election, investments would start to pour into the country.
“Sri Lanka really is in a wonderful position. In the recent election the democratic process worked. That is an extraordinarily good signal to the rest of the world that Sri Lanka is coming out of an appearance of a slumber,” Alan Yarrow said at the CEOs’ Breakfast Forum organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
As reported by MirrorBusiness yesterday, Yarrow reiterated the importance of the upcoming elections, rule of law and dispute resolution processes which have been thrust into the spotlight.
However, the current regime has come under fire for selectively enforcing justice.
Yarrow also asked that people do not set high expectations on new governments.
“One of the biggest worries I would caution you on is expectation and delivery. Expectations can run way ahead of what they can deliver, so make sure your expectation is kept under control,” Yarrow warned.
He said that improvement of bureaucratic processes would also lead to the ability to deliver on expectations.
Unfortunately in Sri Lanka, following a change in government, all top bureaucratic positions are vacated and installed with those approved by the new regime.
Policy Planning and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva was of the opinion that the new regime had to follow the same example in the short run to curb corruption while Highways and Investment Promotions Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne recently expressed his disappointment over having to follow such practices.
However, some cabinet ministers who have been constantly stressing the need to eliminate corruption have gone around appointing their beneficiaries into bureaucratic and managerial positions of state-controlled entities.
These methods are not followed by advanced economies in the world, where bureaucrats, through apolitically proven expertise, are able to drive countries forward economically even in the absence of ethical or well functioning governments.
Meanwhile, Yarrow said that improving on these areas, as well as predictability of taxes and good regulatory framework would lead to British and other foreign investors coming into Sri Lanka following the elections, especially into the financial and hospitality sector.
“Still got the next election, but the direction of travel is the right direction. So, I think people will use that as a measure of putting money into Sri Lanka,” he added.
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