By Hiran H.Senewiratne Courtesy The Island July 25, 2016
"The government is taking every step to expand the local export sector, to reach 40 percent of GDP, which is now less than 15 percent. Therefore, we are giving all support necessary to improve the ease of doing business in the country for that purpose, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.
"The government will act as a catalyst of economic growth, while the exporters could be the engine of the growth. Therefore, the environment is now rather buoyant for investors to come in. This is the time the Prime Minister and our government are looking for your support to help us to achieve for Sri Lanka a better tomorrow, Karunanayake said at the Annual General Meeting of the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka last Friday. The event was held at Hotel Ramada.
He said the country has to positions itself as one of the best for investors in the region. He added that the export sector comprises the country's ambassadors who go to the market in the outside world.
"In 2005, the export sector was 33.3 percent of the total GDP, while in 2015 it had drastically dropped to 15 percent of the GDP, which the present government is making every effort to increase in order to generate revenue for the government, Karunanayake explained.
"During the last regime, the export sector drastically dropped, whereas the current government, as the catalyst of economic development, has set consistent and coherent policies to promote and incease exports in the country, he said.
"In order to improve the performance of the export sector, government endeavours to show that we (government and private sector) are equal partners, he said.
"Now it’s time to get into business, the minister stressed.
"Make sure the government representatives here get to know what your problems are. Exporters and potential exporters need to voice their issues. That is what we got to do, he said.
"Sri Lanka was off the map for many years and now we see it coming back and we need to make this to happen, the minister added.