Government to create a positive investment climate

RanilPrime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the Government plans to create a positive investment climate that will generate jobs.

Speaking in Parliament today, the Prime Minister said that hurdles that stand in the way of achieving growth for business start-ups will be removed.

“The processes of starting a business, getting construction permits, electricity connections and bank credit, registering property, protecting minority investors, the payment of taxes, trading across borders, the enforcement of contracts, the resolution of insolvency, and regulations governing labour market will be efficient mechanisms that will facilitate business growth,” he said.

Additionally, the Prime Minister said the Government will also prepare legislations to establish a single window for investment approval.

Further, he said the Government will hold discussions with the Trade Unions and relevant stakeholders. The targeted outcome is to bring Sri Lanka within the top 70 nations of the Doing Business Index by 2020.

“A new set of  investment incentives based on Capital Allowances and low tax regime will be introduced; the details will be announced in the Budget. We plan to repeal The Export and Import Control Act and bring in new legislation on the lines of Singapore’s Regulation of Imports and Exports Act and Strategic Goods Control Act,” he said.

Towards creating newer markets for Sri Lanka’s exports, the Prime Minister said the Government is negotiating three trade agreements; ETCA with India, and two FTAs with China and Singapore.

He said these are significant developments even as these two large economic regions struggle to maintain economic momentum in their domestic markets, which have been traditional export destinations for our businesses.

“Most of us thought that our next generations would have to pay the debts incurred for Hambantota port and Mattala airport. Now, we have entered into a debt to equity swap. Chinese investors have made significant commitments to invest equity in the debt strapped Hambantota Port and the Mattala Airport as PPP ventures,” he said.

He also said the Government plans to receive sufficient funds to offset the debts. (Colombo Gazette)