Lanka at make or break point -PM | Daily News

Lanka at make or break point -PM

Must use geographical location to tap into growth around it
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe awarding the runners up award to People’s Bank.  Picture by Hirantha Gunathillake
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe awarding the runners up award to People’s Bank. Picture by Hirantha Gunathillake

Sri Lanka has received so many opportunities and has never grasped them for the country’s advantage, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

A new opportunity has now emerged and Sri Lankans must grab this last chance, he said speaking at the inaugural Best Sri Lankan Brands Awards ceremony at Colombo Hilton on Monday.

“We have come to the make or break point,” he cautioned.

The Premier said that not only Sri Lanka, but the whole of Asia missed the industrial revolution. “However it must be said that without the resources of Asia there would not have been an industrial revolution.”

Wickremesinghe said in the 1950’s Sri Lanka was on par with countries like Japan and Singapore and they took the Sri Lankan model to mould their economy. “However since then Sri Lanka never grabbed the opportunities that came their way in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.

He said that today the Indian Ocean has become one of the key development points in the world and Sri Lanka is right in the middle of it. “In addition, the Silk Route and the Japan-Africa-India Corridor is also opening up with Sri Lanka being strategically located and Sri Lanka must grab this opportunity as this is the last chance for the island.”

Sri Lanka must use its geographical location to tap into the growth that is happening around it.

He said that he had confidence that Sri Lanka can go forward. “I have no doubt that given the environment we can do the job. We should not have another occasion for someone to come and show us that we have missed this opportunity as well.”

The Premier quipped that if this opportunity also goes by Sri Lanka would be put down just two points ahead of Afghanistan.

The launch of the Best Sri Lankan Brands was also lauded by the Prime Minister who was the Chief Guest. The event was organized by Interbrand, the world’s largest and most influential brand consultancy.

The inclusion of Sri Lanka in the Interbrand catalogue of countries is a chance for local companies to be on the global stage. Wickremesinghe said that he was pleased to see state banks among the top six in the list of 20 but they would have to still face the restructuring process.”

He said that local companies should now look at going global as it is the future and businesses should look at technology, semi-automation and innovation.”

The winners of the Best Sri Lankan Brands Awards in order of rank: Bank of Ceylon (BOC) (Rs 31.12 bn); People Bank (Rs 26.03 bn); Dialog (Rs 21.87 bn); Commercial Bank (Rs 20.33 bn); Hatton National Bank (Rs 17.53 bn); National Service Bank (Rs 13.27 bn); Lion Brewery (Rs 10.59 bn); Sampath Bank (Rs 6.96 bn); John Keells Group (Rs 6.99 bn); Elephant House (Rs 6.13 bn); Cargills (Rs 5.67 bn); Sri Lanka Telecom (Rs 5.52 bn); Hayleys (Rs 4.56 bn); Cinnamon Hotels Resorts (Rs 3.62 bn); Hemas (Rs 3.37 bn); Sri Lanka Insurance Rs 2.95 bn); LB Finance (Rs 2.52 bn); Dilmah (Rs 2.48 bn); Aitken Spence (Rs 2.16 bn); Rocell (Rs 1.92 bn). 


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