President elaborates plans to transform SL economy

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe said, he is focusing on an export-oriented, very competitive market economy for Sri Lanka, as the country could become a supplier for South Asia, Southeast and East Asia.

“Our focus is on competitiveness and export markets. That’s what we are working on looking at the industry for technology and modernising agriculture.

If you look at the region, by 2050 from Saudi to Indonesia, there will be an addition of 500 million mouths to feed at high income level.”

He said this during the meeting with the visiting Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power who is currently in Sri Lanka on a two-day official visit. President Wickremesinghe said that the wheels have been set in motion to make Sri Lanka a prosperous nation by 2048 as it reaches the centenary of its independence.

He noted that Sri Lanka is an aging population and automation and semi automation is one way out for the country. He also noted that a 25-year programme has been planned from 2023, and that Sri Lanka will need the assistance of USAID for this to be successful. He also noted that as far as democracy is concerned, the 22nd Amendment is before Parliament.

“We are waiting for Parliament to pass it. In administrations, we have brought out the first cabinet manual in Sri Lanka. Hence, that will have to go before the Cabinet and we’ll establish procedures for the whole of the Cabinet. The oversight committees are back again and we’ll be looking forward to support from the USA.”

The President also said that increased economic committees from Public Finance; Committee on Public Accounts, Committee on Public Enterprise would include the Ways and Means Committee, and Committee on Banking and Finance because the banking sector is relatively weak and the Committee on State Enterprise Restructuring will start a parliamentary budget office and for the first time, legislative research service in Parliament.

Meanwhile, the President also touched on the topic of the Easter Sunday terror attack investigations and said that the Scotland Yard has been asked to come in, review reports and come to a final conclusion on the whole issue to determine if there was a hidden hand behind the bombing. He also mentioned land issues and how much land can be released. The activities of the missing persons office, he said, would also be accelerated. Reconstruction plans will be also be reviewed and accelerated, the President said, adding that the Northern Plan is also on the cards. “With renewable energy, the North will become big economic centre followed by the Trincomalee development scheme. So with renewable energy and Trincomalee development we have a big opportunity there.”