Sri Lanka has big potential than any other country in Asia to become the most viable and attractive regional economic hub, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank Xiaoyu Zhao said.
"Strategic location, post conflict infrastructure development initiatives, peace and stability, high economic growth and able leadership are the main factors behind these potential", he said during a meeting with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa along with ADB's Country Director in Sri Lanka Rita O'Sullivan yesterday.
Sri Lanka has performed well in its economic development drive after the end of the conflict and has achieved highest economic growth rate continuously during the last three years, the ADB's Vice President said.
Mr. Zhao is currently on an official visit to Sri Lanka in order to review the progress of the ongoing ADB funded projects.
Minister Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka is carrying out a balanced growth approach giving priority to the human resources development as well as the physical resources development. As indicated in Mahinda Chinthana, the government does not intend to follow a development strategy isolated from the people.
"Therefore government has initiated numerous development programmes directly aimed at people's wellbeing while implementing massive infrastructure development programmes and large scale development projects related to production and services sectors," the Minister said.
It was decided to initiate a joint investment promotion programme by the Ministry of Economic Development and the ADB to use ADB's good office to make aware the international investor community on opportunities available in Sri Lanka for investment, new economic trends in the country and peace and political stability in the country.
The ADB's Vice President said Sri Lanka is providing golden opportunities for the investors.
Well educated people, modern and sophisticated banking sector and newly developed harbours, airports, roads are providing a very conducive environment for the investment, he said.
Minister Rajapaksa said the government will formulate a master plan to coordinate different economic sectors to identify and set the overall targets of these sectors to which Mr. Zhao pledged to extend ADB's fullest cooperation.