Statement from the Sri Lanka Institute Of Architects

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“Professionals of the SRI LANKA INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS (SLIA), together with the 1.5 million people engaged in the construction industry, have played an important role in facilitating economic development by initiating physical development.

As a responsible body of the professionals we are concerned about the current economic crisis which has engulfed the entire nation. We urge all policy makers to unite and act swiftly to formulate a plan of action to engage with the International Monitory Fund. We call upon all policy makers and citizens of Sri Lanka to be proactive in this crisis situation while at the same time respecting the right of citizens to protest peacefully, to hold demonstrations, and have their voices heard by the Government. In the interest of the country, it is essential to establish political stability and to work towards resolving the country’s current economic and financial crisis.

As a leading professional body, which has been operating over 60 years in Sri Lanka, the SLIA has always remained ‘apolitical’, we will support elected officials by providing our services, to promote a new vision of transforming the country’s economy in terms of physical development, and by the promotion of a new economic ‘paradigm’. Proactively capitalizing on the opportunities offered by the economic crisis, primarily restructuring of the debt and the state sector, secondly, embrace the opportunity to create new avenues of encouraging investment tapping into the “Global Market” by offering the best investor friendly environment for projects specially designed for specific projects located in ‘Special Projects Areas or Zones’.

These investment opportunities can be uniquely packaged as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) to achieve an annual income of three billion USD or more in identified specialised areas such as

• Higher education towns

• ICT related and industrial development zones

• Logistic hubs for value addition of products

• Healthcare Tourism

• Modernisation of Fisheries Industry

• Airports and Seaports

• Modernisation of traditional and small and medium scaled enterprises related to tourism

• Agro based industries

• Encourage the use of local labor and professional services as a means of saving foreign exchange and providing the construction sector with resilience

 • Encourage  off-site  fabrication  of  elements  to  increase  the  use  of  local  labour  and  promote entrepreneurship

As a remedy to the forex currency deficit in the country the SLIA is taking the initiative in creating ‘the best investor-friendly, professional driven business environment in Asia’. This strategic intervention will take place at three levels, at a physical policy planning level, physical planning level and finally in creating a ‘common vision’ among all stakeholders.

Firstly the SLIA will support the creation of a ‘Policy Plan’; primarily for creating the physical environment conducive to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), and to facilitate the ease of conducting business by creating a land bank for investor friendly investments (with the infrastructure and local manpower necessary to commence business on arrival).

Secondly at a ‘Physical Planning’ level, the SLIA will actively support restructuring and readjusting, existing land use practices with the aim of to achieving better productivity in terms of usage and to promote the release of land parcels for suitable new developments.

Thirdly the SLIA will create a common vision and a common language (Lingua Franca), in order to promote the ease of doing business, streamline the governance of the approving and commissioning process among all stakeholders; this is to be done establishing an online platform and by creating an understanding among all stakeholders about a common vision and goals of nation building through an investor-friendly ‘knowledge economy’ and through the restructuring of existing foreign-exchange earning industries as an economic growth strategy and action plan.

Being trained as professionals in visionary thinking, the SLIA at a policy level supports “Innovative – Disruptive Restructuring” of the existing irresponsible governance structure in order to achieve an investor friendly governance structure to jump start the industry by diversifying export oriented goods and services of Sri Lanka. In this endeavour SLIA is committed to play a pivotal role in leading as an agent in promoting “Designing an Inclusive Resilient Future!”