Sri Lanka has put in place policies and strategies to unleash its next wave of high yet sustainable growth, despite challenges such as the pandemic, presidential secretary Dr. P.b. Jayasundera revealed.
Delivering the keynote at the virtual three-day Sri Lanka investment forum’s inauguration, Dr. Jayasundera said that the government was preparing to reinvigorate a badly run economy during 2015-2019.
He said economic growth slumped to 2.3% in 2019 from 5% in 2015 averaging 5-5.5% growth during the 30-year conflict and grew around 7-8% post-conflict, which confirms Sri Lanka’s potential and resilience
He pointed out that a weakened economy in 2019 was further impacted by Covid leading to a 4% contraction in 2020]. a
This was despite several initiatives carried by the new government, such as tax reforms, public expenditure reforms, and stepped-up public investment strategies, he added.
He also said the national goal is to push per capita income towards $ 10,000 in order to consolidate as an advanced middle income country as opposed to present level of $ 4,000.
“This will be driven by structural changes in exports and imports of goods and services to make it much more diversified and inclusive,” he added.
Dr.Jayasundera said on average the national growth target is in excess of 6%.SriLlanka cannot sustain a $ 10 billion trade deficit with exports being $ 10 billion and imports amounting to $ 20 billion,
The government has announced a host of measures to boost exports to $ 12 billion this year and $ 15 billion by 2024 and $ 20 billion by 2028.
The targets will be achieved via export diversification and greater local value addition, he added.“Export performance year-to-date is encouraging and gives us confidence of achieving the goal of $ 12 billion by end 2021,” he said.