‘Business community should ensure steady progress’ :
Peaceful environment spurs economy
The country’s economy is expected to grow with the peaceful
environment that facilitates the growth potential. The business
community needs to be proactive and dynamic to ensure steady progress in
achieving economic prosperity, National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka
President Lal de Alwis told Daily News Business.
The SME sector is an important component in development and it should
play a vital role. In countries such as Japan 99 percent of the GDP
growth is contributed by the SME sector. The importance of the sectoral
growth has also been stressed in the Mahinda Chinthana, he said.
The development work carried out in the North and the East would add
to the economic development and people would benefit immensely by the
projects such as infrastructure development including road network,
power and water, he said.
The development of business and industry will be part and parcel for
economic development. The country in the recent past had to face several
local and international unfavourable developments.
During the early part of 2008, the food and energy crisis in the
global economy threatened Sri Lanka’s macro economic stability by
widening the trade and current account deficits and rising inflation, he
In the latter part of the year, the second wave of the global
financial crisis turned into an unprecedented global financial turmoil
from September 2008. Sri Lanka had to cope with its share of sudden
withdrawals of foreign capital by supplying almost 50 percent of its
external official reserves which had been accumulated to the highest
level of US$ 3.56 billion by end July 2008, he said.
Apart from these unfavourable conditions, the industry also had to
face two other problems - escalating energy cost and high bank interest
rates. With these, our products became uncompetitive both in the local
and global markets. However, the reduction of interest rates has
provided relief to the business community, he said.
The Government should create an environment conducive for business
sector development and introduce business sector friendly policies so
that the business sector will find it easy to do their activities, he