The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) last week urged the government to be consistent in policies in order to attract investments to accelerate economic growth. The CCC in a groundbreaking move came out with ‘10 Principles’ to guide the transformation of the Sri Lankan economy.

“The Chamber is keen to ensure that its activities, as well as its engagements within the private sector and between the private sector and the government, are based on consistent and coherent principles, instead of ad hoc stances taken from time to time,” the CCC said.

The principles also spelt out the future activities of the Chamber, engagements with the wider private sector and with the government, which will be underpinned by these principles.

The CCC also called on the new government to enforce the rule of law, ensure good governance and transparency while maintaining policy consistency to attract investments needed to accelerate economic growth.

The 10 principles laid out by the CCC last week are good governance, policy stability and regulatory quality’, national integration, harmony and inclusiveness, a market-oriented and private sector-led economy’, an economy based on competitiveness and driven by exports, forging mutually beneficial trade agreements, a strong and thriving SME sector, bridge regional growth disparities through business’, ‘attract quality FDI and making Sri Lanka a preferred investment destination, sustainable and development-focused technology advancement and innovation, and demand-focused education and skills development.

“The focus must now shift to other – often more important – factors like highly skilled and competent workers, rule of law, good governance, transparent and stable policies, quality of infrastructure, and efficient and effective public administration that proactively supports economic growth.”Further, the chamber pointed out that the openness of the economy, particularly on trade, would play crucial role in attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). The CCC added that the principles laid out would form the basis of the Chamber’s advocacy on pro-business policy and legislation, within a ‘Nation-first’ mind-set.