The main objective of Sri Lanka’s National Government steered by President Maithripala Sirisena is to develop the economy and complementing the economies of its regional neighbours, while strengthening international friendship and cooperation, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
The Premier said future development in Sri Lanka is not a threat but a complement to the countries in the region while pointing out that regional cooperation is pivotal to Sri Lanka’s progress, which is located in a place of strategic importance in the Indian Ocean.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was delivering the keynote address at ‘The World in 2017’ conference at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong on Thursday.
The Prime Minister was received by the ‘The Economist’ Chief Editor Daniel Franklin who briefed the PM on the objectives and trends of the conference.
Premier Wickremesinghe wrote a message on the Special Occasion Guest Book while having a brief discussion for The Radio Economist with the radio’s Chief Editor Mack Elroy.
The President of Didi Chuxing Jean Liu, a leading mobile-transportation platform based in China spoke on the buildup of 2017 on a technological basis. She stated that there are 25 million employed in her company that is currently adapting its services to the new economic, environmental and technological transitions. Premier Wickremesinghe in his keynote address on the socio-economical development of post-war Sri Lanka highlighted its future economic development plans, regional and global shifts, Sri Lanka in 2017 and on Asia in the world.
The Premier further said the strong features of Sri Lanka are its geographical importance and the human resources for which a conducive environment is in place to utilize their full potential.
“There is no more political instability in Sri Lanka after the new government was elected on January 8, 2015 and the plans are afoot to restructure the political administrative changes necessary for the country’s development, the PM pointed out.
The Prime Minister further pointed out that the development of two international airports and three international ports are under way to encourage an export oriented economy with which Sri Lanka can become an economic focal point in the Indian Ocean.
“Sri Lanka is aiming at an expanded international market.
Sri Lanka has already signed free trade agreements with India and China. It will expand the international market for our industries. We are continuing discussions with the European Union to regain the GSP+ as well,” the Premier further added.
Responding to the questions from the audience, the Prime Minister said Sri Lanka has taken adequate measures for environmental protection in parallel with its development progress.
“President Maithripala Sirisena himself has taken the leadership in this matter.
President Sirisena’s role in environmental protection itself symbolizes the great importance that Sri Lanka is paying for the subject matter,” PM Wickramasinghe explained.
“The Sri Lankan government is dedicated to increasing the female contribution to the labour force by 40%.
With sufficient investments, conducing working environments, new entrepreneurs, the government shall be able to generate high-income jobs by 2020,” the Premier further added. A 25% female representation at Local Governments and Provincial Council level is assured by the government, which will directly augment female representation in Parliament, the Prime Minister said.
The Sri Lankan delegation to conference includes Professor Maithree Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka Ambassador to China Dr.Karunasena Kodiithuwakku, the Prime Minister’s Additional Secretary Saman Athaudahetti and special assistant to the PM Sandra Perera. (CDN)