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Government to create a highly competitive, export-oriented economy: President

By: Staff Writer

April 30, Colombo (LNW): The Sri Lankan Governments is set to create a highly competitive, export-oriented economy based on market economy in collaboration with the business community of the country President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasised.

He pointed out that the current challenge facing the nation is not about maintaining the executive presidential system but rather about building a robust economic framework.

Speaking at the International Rotary District Conference 2023/24 of the District 3220 Club for Sri Lanka and Maldives held at the BMICH, the President underscored the importance of allowing the people to decide the country’s economic trajectory, highlighting that this opportunity should not be missed by anyone.

The district conference featured a keynote address by Minister of Information Technology and Digital Services of Tamil Nadu, India Palanivel Thiaga Rajan.

District 3220 Rotary International for Sri Lanka and Maldives, established in 1929, comprises over 17,000 members. The club has been actively involved in numerous community and social welfare initiatives, as well as projects aimed at fostering social and economic development across the country.

President Wickremesinghe has been a member of the District 3220 Colombo West International Rotary Club since 1994.

“We are living at a time when Sri Lanka has reached a crossroads, deciding which path to take. This decision lies in the hands of the people of this country. Are we moving forward? Are we staying stagnant? Or do we wish to regress?” queried the President during his address.

He said that a young person asked him about his plans for the country, educate people and develop the physical infrastructure,

He noted that he has no fixed plans but he can only envision a market economy where market forces will determine the course. Within that framework, we can establish policy guidelines, outline three or four-year programs, and adapt as needed, he added..

“Thinking of a rigid plan to spur growth seems implausible to me. We must understand how to influence market forces, perhaps even manipulate or direct them. If we aim to progress, we must first decide on the economic system we desire”. Do we want a Government-led approach, following a five-year plan?

“We have tried numerous plans in the past, yet remained impoverished. Vietnam, once poorer than us, changed its course after the war. The Minister of Industries from Vietnam sought advice on promoting foreign investment, a scenario I now find myself reversing” he said. .

We often aspire to emulate countries like Malaysia or Singapore, yet hesitate to make the necessary decisions. It’s time to confront our reality. We must decide on the type of economy we want. For me, only one model is viable: a highly competitive, export-oriented economy, he added.

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