Biz community confident about economic revival under new President | Daily News


 

Biz community confident about economic revival under new President

To focus on professionalism and efficiency
Gotabaya Rajapaksa sworn-in as 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka at a ceremony held at the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa premises in Anuradhapura, yesterday.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa sworn-in as 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka at a ceremony held at the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa premises in Anuradhapura, yesterday.

The Business Chambers congratulated the 7th elected Executive President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and expressed confidence that he would work towards the prosperity of the nation.

Rajapaksa in his address to the nation said that he would provide state sponsorship to safeguard the traditional heritage of the nation and will take measures to protect the rights of the civilians to live in peace and reconciliation.

“Time has come to work as one force to build the nation and a people-centric government is a prerequisite to achieve this objective. We will have our fullest commitment to achieve the sustainable development goals of the UN,” he said.

“Professionalism and efficiency should be the cornerstone of government of administrations. Meritocracy and technocracy should be promoted all times; corruption will be never tolerated under my administration.”

President Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL) Ruwan Edirisinghe said that the urgent steps should be taken to revive the ailing economy and also the construction sector. He said that not only the SME sector even the corporate sector is facing huge issues which has resulted in huge NPL’s to the banks.” He suggested a grace period be given to pay back loans and the interest components due to the banks too should be reviewed.”

He also said a simplified tax system should be introduced and the smaller man should pay less. “Luxury vehicles must be taxed more. The construction industry is facing huge issues due to delay of payments by the government to contractors. This has a cascading effect to the whole country.”

He also said that a fair playing field must be created when giving government tenders to foreign companies over local companies. “We suggest that foreign companies should have a JV agreement with local companies when they undertake local government contracts.”

The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka on behalf of the membership and business community while congratulating the newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the Chamber believes that the new President’s plans will take the country to the greater heights of the trade and business development.

“The National Chamber had been in the forefront of the business development of the country since its inception in 1948, presently serving a corporate membership of over 700 companies and over 1,500 SMEs.”

President National Chamber of Exporters, Ramya Weerakoon said that the Chamber and its members congratulate Gotabaya Rajapaksa who has been elected as the 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka with a wide endorsement by the people. “The Chamber is conscious of the capability of the new President as a person of action. We trust the president will give the utmost priority to support the country’s export sector which makes a vital contribution to the economic development of Sri Lanka.

“We hope that long term, consistent and predictable policies will be implemented to benefit trade especially exports.”

President, Sri Lanka Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka Sanath Ukwatte while welcoming the new President, said that peace and security is paramount for the promotion of tourism. “We expect the new President to ensure the nation’s security be maintained at all times. “This would certainly help increase the number of arrivals.”

President, Colombo Hotels Association Shanthi Kumar said that under Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Colombo City was developed with several new attractions and most importantly the city had been kept clean, which we expect that it would be continued.”

Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) has observed the importance placed on the ICT industry in 7th President’s policy statement. CSSL has been playing a pioneering role in promoting ICT and fostering professionalism among ICT professionals in the country for the past 43 years. “CSSL eagerly anticipates to actively engage with Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government in order to realize the digital vision articulated in his policy statement,” said Prabhath Wickramaratne, President, Computer Society of Sri Lanka.

“We wish to draw his attention to the fact that ICT professionals in this vital industry needs the due professional recognition. CSSL has been advocating for the same for many years. We look forward for our new executive president to use his office to bestow the due recognition for computer professionals similar to doctors , engineers or accountants in the country by enacting necessary acts to realize the intended economic and social objectives through this vital industry of the future.”

President Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association Ahsan Refai says that as a successful administrator in the past, they have great confidence that the new President will take Sri Lanka to greater heights.

“The Gem & Jewellery industry faced many obstacles in the past four and half years and we hope to work closely with the new Presidential Task Force to promote the Gem & Jewellery Industry and solve issues faced by the minors, lapidarists, jewellery manufacturers, traders & exporters.”

“We are sure that the new President will look at the industry in a positive manner and encourage exports and tourist foreign currency sales by bringing back the legislation which was applicable prior to 2015.”

Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) said that they recognizes and appreciates the extensive experience and leadership demonstrated by Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his previous achievements. “We have no doubt that with this versatility of experience and leadership in our country; you are poised to provide exemplary leadership to the future goals of Sri Lanka; and also in sustaining political stability, peace and security in our region. We take this opportunity to reaffirm COYLE’s unequivocal commitment to the Sri Lankan economic perspective. As the accession process is merit-driven and based on your proven abilities, we encourage you to pursue the path to real and sustained reforms. You can count on our absolute support for your efforts.”

“COYLE considers your election as an extraordinary political achievement. It is a crucial step in your path towards the betterment of the country and peace and reconciliation for Sri Lanka and the region.”

CEO, Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC and President, Indian CEO Forum of Sri Lanka (the preeminent body for Indian business investment in Sri Lanka) Umesh Gautam extend their full support to newly elected President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“Indian investment in Sri Lanka represents some of the oldest Foreign Direct Investments into Sri Lanka dating as far back as 1980 when outside private investment was virtually non-existent.”

“Our commitment to the economic prosperity of Sri Lanka has been unshaken even in the worst of times during the war and under the cloud of terrorism. Many of our members have adopted Sri Lanka as our second home and have strong ties to the island that transcend economic and political co-operation.”

Today Indian investment in Sri Lanka is the second largest source of FDI in Sri Lanka while trade between the two countries has grown to over USD 5 billion since 2000 and is expected to reach USD 10 billion over the next 5 years.”

The Indian CEO Forum works to promote and contribute to the economic growth of Sri Lanka and reaffirms its commitment to this cause going forward under President Rajapaksa’s great leadership.

Founder President of the Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI), Sri Lanka and former President FCCISL, Nawaz Rajabdeen, urged President Rajapaksa to give special attention to resurrecting the ailing industrial sector through MSMEs.

He also pointed out that the President’s commitment in fostering MSMEs in the regions and addressing livelihood through women’s empowerment and youth entrepreneurship with particularly attention to the North and East regions, as a vital step towards the country’s economic prosperity as well as for national integration.

Radabdeen also urged the new President to prioritize a National Industrial Policy in serving the local industrial community, while maintaining a global outlook.

“Sri Lanka has abundant talent in enterprise, innovation and technology, which should be harnessed for the greater wellbeing of the populace and also support the national economy in alignment with the principles of circular economy and inclusive and sustainable industrial development,” he noted, adding that the chamber movement is keen to support President Rajapaksa in developing the country towards a secure, peaceful and enterprising nation.

Former President Colombo Chamber of Commerce, Founder and Executive Advisor – Lanka Innovation Forum and Co-Founder - MeForYou Movement, Dr. Amila Kankanamge said that in his opinion, the comprehensive win at the Presidential Election by Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a testimony to the lackluster leadership and governance provided to the country by the Yahapalana Government.

“Economic growth and progress achieved by President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not continued and I believe that the general population needed a lot more to look forward to after 10 years since the end of the civil war.”

“It is in this outset that Gotabaya Rajapaksa contested for the Presidential Election and his very successful track record as someone who delivered what the masses wanted resonated with a large majority of the Sri Lankans.

The challenges ahead of us are varied. We have to focus on the growth of the country and ensure that the masses have a lot more cash flow. He has to ensure that there is a conducive business environment and large and small businesses will thrive. One of our biggest challenges is the need to integrate national politics all across the country.”

Chairperson, Women in Management Dr. Sulochana Segera said that they hope that people with experience and integrity would be appointed to head various institutions. “We like to see the right man in the right place.”

She said that new ICT tools should be introduced to put a stop to corruption.

Former President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Macky Hashim, said that most of the global trade in the future would be centered around SAARC and Asia. “Hence more emphasis should be given to promote trade among the SAARC region.” Sri Lanka and the SAARC should jointly promote trade as one region, as all the three M’s, men material and market is in the SAARC.”

President of Sri Lanka Business Council of Japan Jagath Ramanayake said that most of the Sri Lankans living in Japan especially came to Colombo to vote for the new leader for the country. “We have many plans and ideas from Japan for a better Sri Lanka which were conveyed to him in the past three to four years.”

“We suggest to introduce is the Japanese police “Koban” system has helped to control the crime rate which has not given any chance for terrorism in Japan. This system has been used in many countries.” 


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