The Indian CEO Forum said the people on August 5 have given a resounding mandate for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna to steer the country for growth and development over politics.
“Firstly, on behalf of the Indian CEO Forum, the preeminent body for Indian business investment in the country, I must congratulate the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna for the resounding victory at the polls. Following the results of the presidential election last November, the voters of Sri Lanka have spoken loudly and clearly that they demand economic growth, development, security, and stability, and the voters have elected a government with an overwhelming majority that will give wide latitude to solve the near term challenges and take forward President Rajapaksa’s long term vision for the country,” Indian CEO Forum President Umesh Gautam, who is also CEO of Lanka Ashok Leyland Plc said in a statement.
“Due to the onset of the global health crisis which became the focus, there was a delay of several months in forming a new government which was not conducive to stability
“The economy has been sluggish for some time as investment and business expenditure fell short of what was required.
It is my opinion, that we have reached a turning point and there is real sense of optimism and confidence returning with the outcome of this election and the hopes and expectations of an entire nation now lie in a strong unified government under the tried and tested leadership of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the vision and administrative discipline of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
With the foundations of strong and unified government in place, the onus falls on the people of Sri Lanka to do our parts to help the country achieve its potential. The Indian CEO Forum stand ready to support the administration under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and help achieve the goals set out in his manifesto – Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour.
“Indian investment in Sri Lanka has a 40-year history and the economies of India and Sri Lanka are deeply intertwined with each other. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first Head of State to call and congratulate his Sri Lankan counterpart as results were coming in highlighting the close ties between the two countries.
“During the most difficult of times in Sri Lanka, Indian investment has always been active and continued to support the Sri Lankan economy and I believe it is the right time for the government of India and Indian business to seize the opportunity to come invest in Sri Lanka’s potential.
“With a population of over 1.3 billion people, India is a global economic powerhouse and Sri Lanka stands to benefit greatly from further economic integration with its closest neighbour. Indian investment is the second largest source of FDI in Sri Lanka while trade between the two countries has grown to over US$ 6 billion since 2000 and there lies the potential to double this over the next five years with the right investments. India is the highest source market for tourists in Sri Lanka in 2019 at 355,002 and the potential to increase this alone is game changing.
“Again, on behalf of the Indian CEO Forum, we wish President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa all the very best in steering this country forward and delivering a safer and more prosperous Sri Lanka. Our mission as the Indian CEO Forum is to promote and contribute to the economic growth of Sri Lanka through economic cooperation between our two countries and we look forward to working towards these goals.”