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“Lankan industries not in line with regional peers”

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Minister Ramesh Pathirane and Governor CBSL at the event. Picture by Claude Gunasekera
Minister Ramesh Pathirane and Governor CBSL at the event. Picture by Claude Gunasekera

Though the Sri Lankan government, Central Bank and other related bodies have been engaged in promoting industrial growth for the last several decades, the sector has not gained it’s traction in line with the industrial development in regional peers, said Governor Central Bank, Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe.

He said that due to this the industry became highly vulnerable to economic shocks and it was very evident during the recent economic crisis as the Industry sector experienced the largest hit compared to other economic sectors,” he said.

The governor opined this at the National Industry Seminar organized by the Industries Development Board at the Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo yesterday.

Dr. Weerasinghe also noted that in any country a strong industrial sector plays a vital role towards strengthening the national economy while creating employment opportunities, fostering innovation, poverty reduction and assisting in infrastructure and social economic development.

Despite the numerous efforts to develop the industrial sector of the economy, the sector continued to record modest average growth of 2% during the period from 2012 to 2021 and during the last five years the industry growth was negative -4.1% implying that the industrial sector is experiencing greater setback” added Dr. Weerasinghe.

“Therefore the Government and the Central Bank agreed on a broader macroeconomic adjustment program to further support his sector.”

The Governor also highlighted that the government together with the private sector contributions has recently established a National Policy for Industrial Development of Sri Lanka to enhance overall productivity in the industry sector.

“The industry sector in Sri Lanka accounted for about 27 to 32% of GDP on average during the last 10 years period, facilitating over one fourth of the working population of the country.”

He insisted a robust industry sector with a significant contribution to the country’s national economy should always facilitate export- oriented growth while product sophistication and diversification strategies are vital rather than relying on assembly intensive production.

Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Industries and Plantation, said that as Sri Lanka’s economy is bouncing back to normalcy, attention should be focused towards industrial development.

“In a bid to kick start industrial development, a new policy framework to encourage industrialialists will be introduced as the government is keen to see self made entrepreneurs to be in business rather than youth depending on employment.

The Industrial Development Board has initially selected 300 schools to conduct entrepreneurship awareness programmes and the first will be held in Nalanda College Colombo next week.

The Minister said students will be encouraged to be in self industries rather than looking for government jobs or relying on employment. “We should create a new culture in this country, minimize working for others but to be your own boss.”

 

Thursday, June 29, 2023 – 01:00











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