Monday, June 17, 2024
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BOI  chief calls on all EPZ workers protect SL’s  only’ forex earning sector

Now the BOI authorities are talking about these workers who are earning much needed foreign exchange  the island nation for the first time after four decades. 

Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Eng. Raja Edirisuriya now called on all Export Processing Zone (EPZ) employees to support to protect ‘the only’ foreign exchange earning sector and investors to safeguard the economy of all Sri Lankans. 

We need to safeguard the foreign investors that have kept their trust in Sri Lanka and created employment for thousands of people in this country. Exports are the only  sector that has continued to keep the economy afloat from COVID to-date.

 Therefore, he  called on all concerned parties to support and protect our only foreign exchange income generating sector,” he noted in a statement issued yesterday.

Unlike other times of protests, yesterday’s hartal did not allow any container or vehicle to enter the EPZ or to come out of it, disrupting the entire manufacturing process of the country. 

He said “We witnessed that the work life of the zone’s countrywide was disturbed and people were inconvenienced. This may not be the situation we need to create, rather it is the time we tell the world – despite political and economic instability, the Sri Lankan workforce are not giving up on its people or investors. 

“Create positive energy to tell the world that investments in this country are safe and protected. The workforce behind the global top brands are committed to economic turnaround,” Edirisuriya explained.

He said the EPZs under the purview of BOI are a result of hard work of 44-year blood and sweat to ensure an export growth and economic boost. The EPZs are responsible for 70% of overall exports, 85% of national industry exports, whilst over 500,000 are direct employees and indirectly over two million people are dependent on the export sector.

“We do understand that this is a time to think fresh and ensure there will be long-term solutions. However, we need to first protect our only sources of foreign inflows – exports. When we block the containers, which are going out from the  country then it will delay all our export deliveries and cause long term repercussions such as losing valuable customers, losing credibility and investors moving to other destinations. 

It also means over three million engaged in the sector also being unemployed leading to a major economic catastrophe,” he said.

Sri Lanka is known for its quality products, talented human capital, reliability for timely delivery, hard-working workforce, ethics and sustainability practices around the globe via the top world-class brands.

“As Sri Lankans we all want a stable economy. To achieve that we cannot destroy the only steady foreign exchange earning avenues like export industry. I hope the support of all concerned will live up to their responsibilities and do the utmost to overcome the economic crisis collectively,” the BOI Chief said.

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