Colombo, Oct 20 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday said his government aimed to transform Sri Lanka into a hub of the Indian Ocean under the ‘Vision 2025’ programme.
In a speech, outlining the government’s economic policy, delivered in Parliament, Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka had to join hands with the external world to strengthen its international connectivity and reclaim its position as a global trading hub.
“We were a trading nation since the era of ancient kings. Sri Lanka was the hub for transferring goods and knowledge from East to West, and West to East. We should learn from the history on exports and private sector growth which are key elements for becoming a higher middle-income economy,” Wickremesinghe said.
In order to give its economy a much needed boost, the Prime Minister said the government was in discussions to enter into Free Trade Agreements with partner countries around the world.
“We are making great progress towards mutually beneficial Free Trade
Agreements with Singapore, China, and India. These deals will give our economy a massive boost by opening huge new markets to our entrepreneurs,” he said.
To strengthen its export-led economic strategy, Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka must target and obtain much more Foreign Direct Investment and Local Private Direct Investment in high-value products.
He said Foreign Direct Investments had been the engine of growth for East Asia and South East Asia, and Sri Lanka could certainly attract similar or higher levels of investments.
To strengthen its tourism sector, Wickremesinghe said his government would take steps to develop Sri Lanka into a destination which offers unique experiences and hoped to attract a wider market.
“China and India are our biggest and most rapidly expanding markets. We must shift our tourism strategies accordingly,” he said.