“Govt formulating long term industrial policy”
Rising to a long term request by the Sri Lankan business sector the government is formulating a long term industrial policy which would not change from government to government or from minister to minister.
Secretary Ministry of Industries Thilaka Jayasundara in an interview with Daily News Business said that changing policies was a major concern for the business sector as they found it difficult to plan ahead and also this was a major drawback when dealing with their international counterpart.
“To overcome this we have now formulated a five year ‘National Policy for Industrial Development from 2023 to 2048’ according to the vision of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. She also said that Sri Lanka is lagging far behind global indicators with regard to entrepreneurships which is around 10% in the world.
“Sadly, today in Sri Lanka only 2.8% of the population are job creators or entrepreneurs while 97.2%% depend on them.”
“Traditionally youth want to be employees and be content with a monthly fixed income rather than invest and become self-entrepreneurs. But today we want to create youth who are not job seekers but job creators and our target is to increase this from the current 2.8% to 10% by 2023.”
She also disclosed that the contribution to the national economy from the industrial sector is only 26%. “In comparison to other countries this is also poor and we are looking to increase this to 30% by 2030.”
The Secretary also said their midterm target under this policy is also to increase the contribution from the industrial sector from the current 26% to 30% also by 2030. Jayasundara also said that they are also looking at increasing the value addition from local manufacturing exports from the current 15% to 25% which will enable them to bring more FOREX to Sri Lanka and also increase the value of local export basket.
She also said that they have observed the land allocation for industries in Sri Lanka is at a very low level of even less than 0.4%. “We are also aiming to increase this to 1% by 2025.”
“One of the other aims is to increase participation of women in the entrepreneurship area as we observe female entrepreneurship is also low in Sri Lanka. She said that they are focusing young women to be business women and hope to increase the current female entrepreneurship from the current 20% to 45%.
She said that to achieve these goals the ministry has also launched series of focus campaigns and also had started discussions with Chambers, vocational training crenters schools, line ministries and most importantly universities. “We need their assistance as well towards this endeavor.”