Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera says the government’s plan is to make Sri Lanka an export-driven economic and financial hub of the Indian Ocean.
Samaraweera said so, addressing a round table discussion on financing Asia’s infrastructure priorities at the Board of Governors meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which was held in Jeju Island in Republic of Korea from June 16 to 17. It was his first official visit after assuming office as the Finance Minister.
During the discussion Minister Samaraweera spoke about Sri Lanka’s economic growth which had been driven by large infrastructure projects. Developing physical infrastructure must be done along with administrative and legal frameworks to ensure required policy or regulatory support to streamline and boost public and private investments, Ministry said in a release.
Samaraweera said that the government’s plan was to make Sri Lanka an export-driven economic and the financial hub of the Indian Ocean while creating unprecedented opportunities in many sectors. In order to achieve those objectives, the government had set out a reform agenda in several key sectors of the economy, facilitating and empowering the private sector as the principle engine of growth, he said.
The formulation of a new trade and investment policy, tax reforms, and various other measures to improve investor climate were also being implemented, Samaraweera said.
Given the rapid increase in climate related disasters in many countries, like the floods Sri Lanka faced 02 weeks ago, the building of climate/disaster resilient infrastructure would be of paramount importance for the future, said Samaraweera. “If we are to meet this challenge, we must incorporate climate resilient concepts into all future infrastructure development projects.
Minister Samaraweera also had the opportunity to meet Kim Dong-yeon, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Strategy and Finance of Republic of Korea, Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India and Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Finance Minister of Indonesia for bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the AIIB Conference.