Multi-pronged approach to uplift tourism
Plans to stop outflow of forex for overseas education
More medicines to be produced locally

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa  has expressed optimism that the economy adversely affected by the COVID – 19 pandemic could be re-built on a solid basis.

The Presidential Task Force in charge of Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication has been entrusted with the responsibility of formulating a new economic model to achieve this objective. President Rajapaksa directed that the Task Force should prepare economic plans with specified targets in different areas.

The President expressed these views during a meeting with the members of the newly-appointed Task Force. The Apparel and tourism sectors which make a huge contribution to the national economy should be revitalized to suit the changing situations, the President said.

He noted that new opportunities are now open to attract tourists from countries where the COVID – 19 virus has subdued. Medical tourism can be promoted by highlighting the capabilities of indigenous medical  system. In order to encourage high-spending tourists, visas must be issued to them supplemented by an internationally recognized certificate.

Some tourists prefer to stay longer especially during the winter season. He highlighted the possibility of strengthening tourism by attracting such travellers. Task Force members were also told to pay attention to promote domestic tourism to prop up the hospitality industry.

President also pointed out the possibility of attracting more foreign investors to invest in the Port City and the Industrial Zone in Hambantota.  The Ministry Secretaries were entrusted with the responsibility of identifying  such opportunities instead of foreign loans.

Head of the Task Force Basil Rajapaksa said Task Force should fulfil its mandate with a new vision to achieve the President’s aims. The Task Force will support new businesses and extend cooperation to large, medium and small scale enterprises. He warned that no loss of employment should take place in state and private sectors.   

Recalling recent requests by Sri Lankan students studying overseas to return home, President remarked that it was an indication of the large number of students going overseas for higher education. This has caused an immense outflow of foreign exchange. President Rajapaksa said that investment opportunities should be expanded in tertiary education in the country so that outgoing foreign exchange could be saved while providing educational facilities to foreign students, in Sri Lanka.

A large amount of money is being spent to import medicines annually. Most of these medicines can be manufactured locally. The Task Force was requested to prepare necessary background to develop pharmaceutical production in the country. 


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