Hambantota port incident bad message to foreign investors | Daily News

Hambantota port incident bad message to foreign investors

Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne presenting an award at the event. Chairman, ICC, Keerthi Gunawardane, Chairman Education Comitte, Lal Jayawardane look on. Picutre by Saliya Rupasinghe

Sri Lankan investor confidence has received jolt with the recent strike at the Hambantota port by its employees who prevented two ships from leaving, said Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne.

Speaking at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICCSL) 50th annual General meeting in Colombo last Friday he said that this is something that should not have happened as they prevented a Japanese ship from leaving Hambantota harbour for over three days. “It sends a bad message to foreign investors that they are not welcomed to Sri Lanka.”

He said that the Hambantota harbour is a white elephant making huge losses and there was reason to protest against it being leased out to a Chinese company.

The Deputy Minister pointed out that when the GSP Plus was in operation Sri Lankan apparel sector was the highest contributor in terms of exports. “This dropped significantly when GSP Plus was taken off and Sri Lanka also lost about 1,000 jobs.”

He said that today the international trade is slowing down and it would have a negative impact to Sri Lankan export sector.

Secretary General ICC, John Dalowich too endorsed this and said that the trade has hit a record low in two decades. “International trade is not happy story today. After two decades international trade growth is lower than the World GDP.” (SS) 



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