ECCL successfully concluded an economic summit

Prime Minister says GSP+ is the linchpin to exports and job creation.

The European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL) successfully conducted a seminar titled Sri Lanka - The Next Asian Economic Miracle? Resetting Economic Development Priorities. The event was organized in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The seminar was conducted at JAIC Hilton Residences Colombo-2.

The conference opened with remarks by Mr. Arnold Perera Vice President of ECCSL who spoke on Sri Lanka’s potential to become the next Asian economic miracle. Commenting on the work done by the Chamber, Mr. Perera mentioned efforts made by the ECCSL to upgrade Sri Lanka’s OECD country risk classifications which were downgraded in 2009. He said that the ECCL had also made an effort to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives through the European Investment Bank (EIB) which had expressed interest in working with the local private sector.

In his remarks EU Ambassador H.E Mr. Tung Lai-Margue said “Sri Lanka was readmitted to the GSP+ scheme in May this year. This has the potential to significantly boost Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU. In addition to GSP+ the EU is also funding a series of activities under its EUR 8 million Trade-related Assistance Project, which includes the development of a National Export Strategy for Sri Lanka. In order for Sri Lanka to maximize the benefits of GSP+, it needs to diversity its exports within existing sectors as well as to entirely new and non-traditional markets in the EU”

The Chief Guest Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe, stressed the importance of having a business friendly environment for exporters and went on to say that there would be a new policy statement in the 2018 budget to stimulate the private sector engagement in the economy. He went on to say that the government would enact a new Foreign Exchange Bill and highlighted the importance of enhancing productivity, competitiveness and maintaining a dialogue between the private and banking sectors to ensure funding.

Ministers Malik Samarawickrema and Mangala Samarweera also graced the occasion and spoke on the government’s economic development efforts. Minister Samrawickrama said that he would consider facilitating a trade adjustment package to local industrialists to upgrade machinery and introduce modern technology so that companies could be more competitive.  Minister Samaraweera said government is committed to providing a stable policy regime with a simpler, clear and more transparent tax policy to attract investment climate.

The event was well attended by Ambassadors and diplomatic staff from EU Delegation Office and the missions of Germany, France, Slovania, UK, US, and the Netherlands, senior government officials, researchers and corporate executives. Orion City was the main sponsor of the event with Coats and Walkers CML - the Gold and Silver sponsors respectively.