Rapidly improving economy, combined with political stability has made the country a very popular destination among both local and foreign investors, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
This achievement has been widely appreciated and even the Forbes Investment Magazine published in USA in a recent article had duly acknowledged this fact, he added. The President said the Forbes Magazine had cited political stability as a reason to invest in Sri Lanka in the current era.
The President was speaking at the ceremonial opening of the new headquarters of the Co-operative Insurance Company yesterday (Nov. 3).
President Rajapaksa said political stability and peace, which were absent during the long drawn out conflict spanning nearly 30 years, were the key catalysts in the country’s impressive economic growth and development.
He singled out prolonged political stability as the main reason for Sri Lanka’s robust economic growth in the past several years.
The decision to enable the President to contest any number of times is paying rich dividends now. The President noted this decision had been taken with emerging future challenges in mind.
The Government introduced the 18th amendment to the constitution, at the beginning of the President’s second term to further strengthen political stability and sustain the rapid development, President Rajapaksa said.
The 18th amendment enabled any incumbent in the office of President to contest for any number of terms for President, he said.
President Rajapaksa said his Government had given equal opportunities to both the state and private sectors and added this had well supplemented overall growth.
However, the President pointed out that there was a time when the state sector and its strengths were taken lightly with only the private sector being considered as the engine of growth.
“As a result, the public sector suffered immensely. Today, there is healthy competition between both state and private sector enterprises which augurs well for both economic development and employment creation,” he added.
President Rajapaksa said his Government had always promoted a national economy which supplements the country’s indigenous resources and had worked to strengthen the economy based on policies described in the Mahinda Chintana.
“While taking note of the opinions expressed by international financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF we have always striven to create our own model based on our local strengths,” he added.
The President said today the Mahinda Chintana was even being studied by foreign institutions and universities. Focusing on the recent budget proposals, the President said the Budget had something for everyone, for people of all walks of life and added that the benefits passed on to the masses and the working class were the result of the far-reaching economic policies envisioned in the Mahinda Chintana.
While noting that the Opposition was making various utterances on the budget including the use of the word ‘Magic’ to describe it, the President questioned whether the Budget has baffled the Opposition.
The President said that it may look like ‘Magic’ to people who never thought these gains could be made and added that his government always worked with a positive mentality of “yes we can” and this was why the Government could achieve anything.
President Rajapaksa said the Government’s next aim was outlined in the conclusion of his Budget Speech where he pointed out that having restored security and peace during the first five years and having got important infrastructure and economic activities in place during the last nine years to satisfy the basic needs of the people the next phase will be to double efforts towards strengthening education, skills and human resource development so the economic progress will be driven by knowledge and skills.
Speaking about the new abode of the CICL, the President urged the staff to use the new facilities at their disposal to propel the organization to greater heights.