Colombo, Nov 10 (NIA) – Sri Lanka’s economic growth is likely to increase from 5.5 percent in 2016 to 6.3 percent in 2017, helped by a growth in tourism, information technology, logistics and Chinese investments, the Central Bank said on Thursday.
Releasing its half yearly publication, ‘Recent Economic Developments: Highlights of 2016 and Prospects for 2017’, the Central Bank said the higher growth potential is envisaged to be achieved mainly through productivity improvements supported by the adoption of new technology across production sectors as well as through the digitalisation of the economy, which would pave the way for increased market access and efficient information flow in the economy.
The medium term growth outlook would also be supported through the consolidation of investment activities with the participation of both the public and private sectors.
Foreign investments are expected to perform an enhanced role, particularly in areas where Sri Lanka has relative advantage, such as information technology related services and logistics.
The planned establishment of the Colombo International Financial City, new opportunities under the Megapolis project and the proposed establishment of Special Economic Zones, particularly in the southern town of Hambantota with the participation of Chinese investors, are among the key areas that would help generate growth over the medium term.
The rise in income levels from the expected developments in all sectors of the economy would help Sri Lanka to graduate to upper middle income status, and the per capita GDP is expected to rise to over US dollars 5,500 by 2020, the Bank said.
China is one of the major FDI sources in Sri Lanka, that has direct investments of 409 million dollars, which is increasing rapidly.
China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, told the media last week that China was willing to invest more than 5 billion dollars in Sri Lanka in the coming 5 years and China had already completed infrastructure construction projects worth 15.5 billion dollars in Sri Lanka by the end of 2015.