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Finance Minister gives thumbs up for economy

28 April 2015 04:20 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Says economic climate better than country’s climatic conditions envied by world over
 


By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
The current situation of the country is extremely friendly towards foreign investment, according to the Finance Minister, who said that this year’s economic growth would hover around 7 percent, cementing the outlooks given by multilateral organisations.
“It could be said that the present economic climate is equally good or better than our climatic conditions, which are envied the world over,” Ravi Karunanayake said.
He said that the growth rate would remain between 6-8 percent till 2025 and foreign direct investments, which were at disappointing levels in the past, would improve under the new government.
“Confidence of the investors rests not only on the growth rate but also based on market integrity, good governance and transparency, coupled with political stability and political will to embrace foreign investment,” he said.
Karunanayake said that the current regime is extremely committed to all these aspects, which would positively affect rankings in indices such as the Ease of Doing Business Index.
However, the apex trade body in the country, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, recently urged President Maithripala Sirisena to expeditiously hold the general elections, following the passing of the 19th Amendment, as the prevailing political situation has created uncertainty among businessmen and foreign investors.
International credit rating agency Fitch recently affirmed Sri Lanka at ‘BB-’ but cautioned on many fronts such as high external debt, tricky Balance of Payment situation, etc.
Meanwhile, Karunanayake said that despite many restrictions, the Colombo Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization of US $ 22 billion, has performed admirably in the year as well.
“There are limitations to size. However, lower figures provide the opportunity to grow,” he added.
He also said that Sri Lanka’s position within the up and coming South Asia and the new investor-friendly climate would make the country the premier investment destination in the world.

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