The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) yesterday urged the President and the government to end the prevailing political uncertainty by holding the general election as soon as possible, preferably keeping to the dates announced in the ‘100-day program.’
CCC said it was concerned by the diverse positions taken on the forthcoming general election by parties currently forming the coalition government.
The chamber stressed that the prevailing uncertainty impacts negatively on the economic and business environment.
“To restore confidence and attract investment, parliamentary elections must be held expeditiously,” CCC said.
While commending the government and the President for steps taken towards constitutional reforms, law and order, good governance, international relations and, reducing cost of living, CCC said the much needed long term economic policies have been put on hold pending a general election and a stable government.
“As a result, a period of uncertainty prevails over the current business climate and investors both local and foreign are adopting a cautious approach towards investing in Sri Lanka.”
According to CCC, this is unfortunate since there has been much renewed interest in the country’s economic potential post the presidential election in January of this year.
“Such interest has only been tempered by the prevailing sense of uncertainty.”
“In the event of an investment slow down, the country’s growth targets for the year are likely to be affected as are government revenue collections,” the trade chamber cautioned.
CCC also noted that while a few days delay to accommodate urgent constitutional reforms would not be viewed negatively, an attempt to postpone the general elections on fragile grounds would be seen as being contrary to the promise of good governance. CCC, a confederation of 3,500 Sri Lankan business entities from small & medium to large conglomerates—21 business councils, 21 trade associations, 22 regional, sectoral and other chambers and with affiliations to over 120 international chambers across the globe, is recognized as the country’s premier business chamber.