In The Press

Port City a hub for regional growth


The Government’s vision is to make the Port City Colombo a key service hub for one of the fastest growing regions in the world, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said yesterday.

“We encourage business leaders from all nations to make full use of the unique strengths and many opportunities that the Port City affords by investing here,” President Rajapaksa said, making the keynote address at the Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021 which commenced yesterday. The event was livestreamed around the world.

Referring to the overall business and investment climate, the President said the Government was deeply committed to maintaining policy stability and consistency within a stable macroeconomic environment. “Our legal and regulatory frameworks are being refined to ensure greater responsiveness, transparency, and security for investors. Unnecessary bureaucratic red tape is being removed and procedures are being streamlined to ensure greater ease of doing business.”

The President said - “My Government has ambitious plans to unleash a decade of transformational and rapid economic growth to double our national output from its current level to 8,000 dollars GDP per capita by 2030. Our unique geostrategic position, political stability, robust institutions and social infrastructure, educated and capable workforce, and high quality of life are some of Sri Lanka’s current strengths. We will leverage on these to set the platform for our growth target.”

He noted that for centuries, Sri Lanka has been a hub that connected the East and the West. With its world class port infrastructure in Colombo and in Hambantota, the country is capable of providing services even to the largest container ships that traverse the busy Indian Ocean. The country is well positioned to be a transhipment and logistics hub for the region. Therefore, the President said vast opportunities are available to make investments in this area.

He added that with climate change becoming an increasing threat to food security the world over, the Government seeks to combine this rich heritage with new technological advances to dramatically and sustainably enhance the agricultural output. “The Government has taken a strong policy stance in support of healthy, organic agriculture.

Sri Lanka will be able to supply high quality agricultural produce to health conscious consumers in the region in the future. Many opportunities for investment will be created in this context in the fields of new technologies and farming practices.

As President of Sri Lanka, I am determined to see these changes through and to further improve our already welcoming environment for investment.”

He also told the forum that the Government is committed to reducing the use of fossil fuels and ensuring that clean, renewable sources of energy contribute 70% of our national power requirements by 2030. “We therefore invite investments into large scale solar and wind power projects that can sustainably augment our power supply and set the platform for further industrialisation and economic growth.”

The three-day forum is organised by the Board of Investment, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Colombo Stock Exchange. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the Day 2 of the forum while Day 3 will be inaugurated by Money and Capital Market State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal.