Sri Lanka is taking a concerted effort to improve the business climate domestically with far-reaching governance reforms that are rules-based which have structurally made investment and business more secure and certain, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a Slovenian delegation recently.
“We are reviewing our laws and regulations to create a simple rules-based business environment including those related to land ownership, as well as tariffs and para-tariffs. We have adopted policies that enable private enterprise to thrive. For example, Sri Lanka has one of the lowest income tax rates in the world – at 15 per cent,” Minister Samaraweera said in an address made during his recent visit to the Republic of Slovenia.
Delivering a keynote address at the International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) on “Democracy, Reconciliation and Development – vision for a new Sri Lanka”, the Minister said that Sri Lanka is taking measures to increase the investor’s job of doing business and for instance bringing a number of government agencies together to create a one-stop investment and trade-facilitation shop under the Agency for Development.
“We are in the process of putting in place the economic plans and policies required to sustain and accelerate Sri Lanka’s 6% plus growth rate, attracting investment, creating a million jobs, developing Sri Lanka as a hub – taking advantage of its geographic location, and expanding market access while improving living standards through an ambitious economic development drive,” Minister Samaraweera said.
He added that the government’s economic strategy is based on attracting foreign direct investment, making Sri Lanka’s exports more competitive, promoting tourism and improving productivity through education and knowledge transfer.
Meanwhile, the minister also called for further and faster support in poverty alleviation, urban development, infrastructure development, education – particularly vocational, technical and English language training – and agricultural productivity improvements.