Times lists Lanka as top tourist destination:
USA Chamber of Commerce speaks of investment benefits
The prospects for Sri Lanka’s economy is bright and optimistic with
much potential for massive scale growth and development, as revealed by
various independent economic observations.
A panel of professionals headed by National Economic Council (NEC)
Member W.D. Lukshman yesterday highlighted Sri Lanka’s potential.
Kelaniya University Sociology Department Head Professor Sunanda
Madduma Bandara, National Economic Council Member and Colombo University
Department of Economics Senior Professor Ranjith Bandara, National
Economic Council Member, Dr Loyd Fernando and Kelaniya University
Economics Department Senior Professor Dr Ajith Dissanayake were the
other professionals present at yesterday’s press briefing.
Despite various negative views put forward by certain parties with
vested interests, Sri Lanka’s economy is witnessing one of its most
stable periods ever, they said. According to them The New York Times has
listed Sri Lanka as a top tourist destination in the world in its
Meanwhile, the American Chamber of Commerce has placed special
attention on the benefits of investments in Sri Lanka’s tourist
industry. Based on this perspective it is hoped that Sri Lanka too will
achieve a target of an annual 2.5 million tourists by 2016. Compared to
statistics of 2002, in which 22.7 percent families were below the
poverty line, 2009 saw it this brought down to a level as low as 15.2
This is a good indicator to show the standards of Sri Lanka’s
socio-economic conditions have improved.
The period 2008-2009 saw a downfall in foreign deposits in Sri Lanka.
In the last quarter this figure has risen to US$ 5.2 billion, with Sri
Lanka’s Balance of Payments showing a positive turn around the first
time reaching the figure of $2.7 billion.
Despite the world recession between 2007 to 2009, Sri Lanka’s economy
was relatively spared of its effects due to the strict and meticulous
economic policies followed. Professor Ranjith Bandara said that the yet
unreleased report would have a figure of an approximate 3.5 percent
Sri Lanka’s loan to GDP ratio is just 8.6, with many developed
countries showing a much higher figure, specially the USA at 9.0.
Despite high unemployment rates in many developed countries, Sri Lanka’s
unemployment rate rose only from 5.2 percent in 2008 to 5.8 percent in
the last quarter of 2009.
The share market, which could be pointed out as the best instrument
to measure a country’s investments, is rapidly growing, with potential
investors increasing steadily. Sri Lanka’s Gini Coefficient has a value
of 0.41, the lowest in South Asia. The Gini Coefficient is a measure of
the distribution of income.
The specialists attributed this positive trend to the new economic
policy adopted in 2005, a ‘balanced policy’ which aims at making Sri
Lanka’s economy both independent and up-to-date.