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President Wickremesinghe Advocates for Agricultural Modernization and Poverty Reduction

March 27, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered a keynote speech at the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) Seminar, highlighting Sri Lanka’s commitment to agricultural modernization and its goal of reducing multi-dimensional poverty to no more than 10 percent by 2035. He emphasized the importance of the seminar amid the nation’s economic stabilization efforts and outlined plans for economic transformation.

Organized by the Indian High Commission in Colombo and Sri Lanka’s Technology Ministry, the seminar aimed to explore the transformative potential of DPI in service delivery, community empowerment, and economic enrichment. President Wickremesinghe expressed intentions to present legislation to Parliament by mid-year to enable the functioning of the proposed agency, crucial for Sri Lanka’s competitiveness, especially in the emerging Indian Ocean region.

Characterizing Sri Lanka’s economy as a “patchwork economy,” the President stressed the need to transition to a cohesive digital economy. Plans include establishing a Digital Transformation Agency and an AI center with a budget allocation of LKR 01 billion to build a robust digital economy. Additionally, AI will be introduced into schools within five years, extending to universities, with collaboration with Indian institutions.

State Minister of Technology Kanaka Herath outlined Sri Lanka’s commitment to operationalizing the DIGIECON 2030 roadmap, focusing on upgrading networks and promoting Digital Financial Services (DFS) for financial inclusion. Plans for a global investment summit on June 25 were announced to encourage investment in Sri Lanka’s tech ecosystem.

Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, Indian High Commissioner Santosh Jha, and other notable stakeholders from India and Sri Lanka were present at the event, which aimed to contribute significantly to the nation’s development plans and programs.

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