The Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator (SDAA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Denise Rollins expressed satisfaction at the development taking place in North and East.
During a meeting with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa last week to review Sri Lanka's development programs supported by the USAID, Rollins has said that there would be greater job opportunities in the two provinces through tax-free investments.
Ms. Rollins has pointed out that the scenic attractions of the North and East, especially the scenic beaches in the Eastern coastal belt, and the traditional Sri Lankan hospitality were bound to attract more foreign tourists to Sri Lanka boosting the fast-growing tourism industry.
The Minister has briefed the USAID official of an accelerated development programme the government had launched in the North and East to provide housing and infrastructure facilities drinking water, sanitation, and electricity.
With the provision of electricity, the production of garments and industrial goods has begun creating an environment for industries to invest in the region to uplift the people's living standards, Minister Rajapaksa has explained to the official.
Speaking of the agricultural development in the region, Minister Rajapaksa has told the USAID official that irrigated water supply and availability of fertilizer and other requirements for agricultural development have produced high yields from paddy, peas , green gram and other grain crops in areas of Jaffna and Vavuniya.
The Minister noted that other areas of the island are also benefiting from agricultural production with annual high yields.
According to Ministry of Economic Development Minister Rajapaksa has said that the government plans to increase foreign-exchange earnings through flexible investment policies that include 99 year leases which will encourage foreign investors to build factories in the lands they have leased.
Earlier in the week addressing media briefing the USAID official has reiterated the support of the agency for Sri Lanka. Ms. Rollins has emphasized that most of USAID assistance today is focused on restoring livelihoods ensuring food security, promoting market access, developing local entrepreneurs and strengthening the capacity of local institutions to help improve the lives particularly of those most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the North and the East.