The spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank recognized Sri Lanka as having one of the fastest growing economies in the world, International Monetary Cooperation Senior Minister and Finance and Planning Deputy Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said.
The Minister also noted that Sri Lanka’s economy which had maintained an impressive and sustained growth during the last few years had outperformed some of its more affluent neighbors in the region.
“If you look at our region, our growth rate of 7.5 per cent, 8 per cent, 8.2 per cent varies from year to year is a record. Many countries which were outstripping us like India and China have reduced their phase of growth, sometimes deliberately and sometimes due to various external factors. But we have maintained a very strong projectory of growth,” he noted addressing an international seminar organized by the Institute of Valuers of Sri Lanka held on 25 and 26 April at the BMICH. Dr. Amunugama was the Chief Guest at the international seminar titled “Investment Opportunities in Real Estate in Sri Lanka”.
The Minister went on to say that Sri Lanka’s per capita income which had hovered around US$ 800 about eight years back has reached US$ 3,420 today. He predicted that as per the plans envisaged by the President the country’s per capita income will rise to reach the expected target of US$ 5,000 in the next 2-3 years.
This will bring us to the middle of the middle income category. We are not a least developed country anymore; we are a middle grade, middle income earning country. It means there is more money in circulation, he said.
It means a new middle class has emerged. It also means that that the Government’s investments in infrastructure growth in ports, airports, super highways and various other such efforts are beginning to pay off, the Minister added. Commenting on the development of the Colombo city, the Minister pointed out that Colombo from being a city with garbage strewn all over its streets a few years back has come to be known as one of the cleanest, best looking and best managed cities in this part of the world.
Even the World Bank has recognized the growth of Colombo as a landmark event and today we have been able to negotiate US$ 200 million to further develop cities, not only Colombo but Kandy, Galle and others, he added.