The peace and stability that the entire country now enjoys has already yielded tremendous dividends. Tourist arrivals are on the rise, and the country has been chosen to host several significant international events. These include the 58th annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference, the 2012 Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2013. In addition, there are a large number of regionally and internationally significant groups that are interested in making large investments in Sri Lanka. The Shangri La hotel chain, Sheraton Hotels, the Krrish Group, Indocean Developers and various others have already committed to large investments to build high-end hotels, residential spaces, office buildings and commercial facilities in and around Colombo. All these facts reflect the confidence that the international community has in the stability and peace that Sri Lanka presently enjoys, as well as their optimism about the country’s future prospects.
Sri Lankan companies and investors are equally committed to promoting new ventures in diverse fields and creating further growth. There are several existing advantages in Sri Lanka apart from its present platform of peace and stability that they can exploit. The potential to harness the country’s highly educated work force in fields such as Information Technology is a case in point. There are a number of Sri Lankan companies that have already made a mark internationally by developing highly acclaimed software products. The software engineers and IT professionals who developed these products were educated and trained in this country, and with that background, this is a sector that can go very far. The same can be said for fields such as Medicine, Accountancy, Engineering, and various other sectors in which Sri Lanka produces large numbers of committed and talented professionals every year.
In order to realise the tremendous growth potential that the country has, the Government of Sri Lanka has undertaken a range of development initiatives. The ongoing urban development programmes are a case in point. These are focused primarily on uplifting the quality of the country’s urban spaces through the development of clean, green, people friendly cities. The commercial capital of Colombo is being transformed through several initiatives.
" In order to realise the tremendous growth potential that the country has, the Government of Sri Lanka has undertaken a range of development initiatives. The ongoing urban development programmes are a case in point "
Programmes are underway to
develop more public open spaces including public parks, walkways and other recreational facilities
transform historic old buildings on the verge of collapse to modern urban spaces
uplift the quality and scenic nature of its waterways
provide better housing facilities for people living in underserved settlements
ensure cleanliness of the city streets through proper garbage collection and disposal.
The development of high quality urban spaces will provide knowledge workers, highly qualified professionals and highly skilled personnel with a higher standard of living. This is absolutely essential, given the Government’s focus on encouraging investments from all over the world. Better cities and a higher quality of life will also encourage the many thousands of professionals who left the country during the war to return to Sri Lanka. These are vital developments that have taken place over the last few years. I can tell you with confidence that the urban regeneration programme underway in Colombo, and the urban development projects underway in the other cities around the country, will result in the country’s urban spaces becoming wonderful cities in which to live.
In addition, several major infrastructure programmes are also presently underway, including the building of highways between key cities, the upgrading of the railway network, and the expansion of electrification and water supply. Ports around the country are being upgraded and expanded, and the newly built Hambantota Port has given the country the opportunity to attract vessels plying the international shipping lines that pass just a few nautical miles to the south of Sri Lanka. The creation of the new Airport at Mattala will also enhance the Hambantota region’s prospects as a transhipment and logistics hub. It also provides another access point for tourists who wish to visit the south of the country.
The tourism sector is one with enormous potential, as reflected in Lonely Planet’s recent selection of Sri Lanka as the world’s number one travel destination for 2013. The many tourist hotels and other tourism related projects that are coming up around the country are an indication that local and foreign investors are eager to exploit this opportunity. In this context, it is also important to note that the Government has also implemented certain administrative areas in order to encourage private and foreign direct investment to Sri Lanka, and that the country’s standing on the “east of conducting business” indicators is constantly improving.
I have every confidence that with the on-going development programmes of the Government of Sri Lanka, and the continuing interest of investors from all around the world, Sri Lanka will achieve its transition from a former war-torn nation to one of the most developed countries in the South Asian region in the medium term.
Why is Gotabaya's picture here with the article. He came back to Sri Lanka a few years back after running away to the USA. He is a civil servant not because he has any experience. Why should he take any credit for what he has not done may we ask???
mansam Tuesday, 30 October 2012 05:35 AM
Dear Shehan. He didn't run away. He left be cos he was not allowed to do his duties. If you want better knowledge of the past, pls read "Gotas War" book.
kamal Tuesday, 30 October 2012 06:22 AM
every body should be remembered that what ever freedom or benefits we do enjoy right now is due to enormous genuine effort made by the Sec of Def. Sad to see the comments made by green eyed monsters for whatever personal reasons.
Muthu Monday, 29 October 2012 05:43 AM
The priority should be to develop the rural areas and not the cities.Helping farmers (remember what Robert Knox said) is more important than helping businessmen in Colombo.
Merril Tuesday, 30 October 2012 08:56 AM
Who wrote Gotas war. It is the mother of Mervyn Silva's son's friend Mrs Wijeratna. ie. Mano Wijeratna's wife.
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