Chamber of Commerce hails govt’s stimulus initiatives | Daily News


Chamber of Commerce hails govt’s stimulus initiatives

The newly elected President of Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya congratulated the Government on the stimulus initiatives launched to-date and on the structured approach being adopted with respect to the country’s economic revival framework.

“It is our view that the Private Sector is an equal partner in securing an accelerated economic recovery and is equally called upon to transform, to meet the challenges of the new normal.”

“Sri Lanka’s private sector was quick in embarking on transformation, commencing with employment retention initiatives centred on the adjustment of production and service portfolios to meet adjacent demand, alongside the retraining and redeployment of human capital. Equal focus was directed at re-engineering Supply and Value chains with primacy for domestic supply ecosystems and the sustenance of SMEs.”

The Private Sector has also actively supported the Government with respect to pooling of logistics and fulfilment capacities, and mitigating Sri Lanka’s Foreign Exchange Liquidity challenges via restructuring foreign supplier credit terms.

Focus has also been applied to the Digital Transformation of operations including interfaces to suppliers, partners and domestic and global customers.

The Chamber is confident that the Private Sector will continue to transform ahead of the curve and thereby form a cornerstone of the nation’s economic revival.

“While we collectively aim for an accelerated revival of Sri Lanka’s economy, it is now crucial that a Second Wave of the disease is prevented at all cost. As segments of the external sector are successively activated, and movement restrictions relaxed, it is crucial that both the private and public sectors apply singular focus to compliance with the stipulated safety measures – a commitment which will need to be supported by requisite caution and restraint.”

Achieving an accelerated economic recovery in the post COVID-19 era will call on Sri Lanka to double down on the fundamental tenets of domestic production, narrowing of the trade deficit, a high degree of commitment towards the strengthening of fiscal and monetary disciplines, maintenance of macro stability and the elevation of sector competitiveness alongside a progressive approach to global market access. The Chamber of Commerce is firm in its view that an accelerated post COVID-19 recovery will be predicated on the effective execution of a Public-Private Shared Vision for Economic Revival and Social Sustenance based on a set of founding principles which include First, the Primacy for Protection of Life and Livelihoods whereby Sri Lanka’s Human Development and Socio-Economic base line indicators are protected as an immediate priority.

Second, the setting of an ambition to achieve a “U Shaped” Economic Recovery at National Average level with parallel focus on achieving “V Shaped” Recovery in targeted internal sectors centered on domestic production and services.

Third, the need and appetite for exceptional, bold and innovative measures which in the longer run will benefit all Sri Lankan Citizens and Businesses.

Bold strategies supported by the Chamber would include those exceptional measures required to fund an adequately expansive stimulus towards Livelihood Protection, Employment Sustenance and Institutional Survival on the backdrop of external sector dynamics.

During the course of the past months, the Chamber has shared its views both at a macro and national level, as well as at a level of sectoral detail, with the President as well as with the Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation.

These fundamentals mirror the principal policy proposals featured in the Sri Lanka Economic Acceleration Framework published by the Ceylon Chamber in September last year.

The black swan events, in particular the COVID-19 crisis, have forced a reset on the economic ambitions set out in the SEAF. That said, the structural proposals espoused in the SEAF remain valid and are in fact of elevated importance given the challenges of a Post COVID-19 Economic Revival.

“Therefore, and not withstanding post COVID-19 imperatives, we look forward to a recommitment of Government focus towards the recalibration of public sector expenditure, the empowerment and upskilling of the civil service, a concerted effort towards SoE reform and Public Private Partnerships as modalities of capital mobilisation.”

In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer – Telecommunications Business and Group Executive Vice President, Dr. Wijayasuriya heads the Telecommunications Business of the Axiata Group Bhd. Vish Govindasamy, Group Managing Director of Sunshine Holdings, and Duminda Hulangamuwa, Senior Partner and Head of Tax at Ernst & Young, were re-appointed as Vice Chairperson and Deputy Vice Chairperson respectively.


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