Economic strategy validated by new investments: PM

Tuesday, 6 December 2016 00:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • 2017 to be landmark year for investments, January rollout for H’tota port, Volkswagen and Pirelli tires 
  • Says investments result of fiscal consolidation, unity Govt. and progressive economic strategies 
  • New jobs for new generation; quips new IT recruits get better salary than PM 
  • Opportunities for financial markets to expand with int’l financial centre

​By Uditha Jayasinghe

Increased investment by foreign companies is a validation of the economic policies introduced by the Government said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday, stressing that 2017 would be a landmark year in terms of investment for Sri Lanka. 

Speaking at the opening of the London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) state-of-the-art technology facility at TRACE City in Maradana, the Prime Minister was enthusiastic of the economic opportunities open to Sri Lankans and emphasised on the long pipeline of investment to be rolled out from early next year.

“This investment is due to the macroeconomic stabilisation program introduced by this Government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena. It is very rarely that you can find two parties working together but we thought for the benefit of Sri Lanka, for the benefit of our people, that is what we should do,” he told the gathering at the opening. 

Referring to the LSEG project, the Prime Minister noted, “You have placed confidence in us. You will not regret it.”

Wickremesinghe went on to detail the planned international financial centre and invited LSEG and other companies to consider investment in the new venture. “There are many opportunities for financial markets, which we have been discussing even today,” he said, adding that Government plans to make Sri Lanka a financial and logistics hub for South Asia would provide a slew of business opportunities to companies looking to grow their services in a resilient Asia. 


“Volkswagen will start their plant in January, a Pirelli tire company will also have their ceremonial start around the same time. 

We will also start development work in Hambantota in January with the port,” the Prime Minister said, referring to the $ 1 b long-term lease to be signed with a State-run Chinese company. He also noted that work on Trincomalee under the Master Plan by Singaporean company Surbana Jurong would also commence before the end of 2017.

Highlighting the 400 new jobs to be added under the LSEG expansion, Wickremesinghe also took the time to point out that the Government had substantially started delivering on its election pledges to create high paying and technologically advanced jobs for youth that are linked to global value chains.    

“These are new jobs for a new generation. All these plans are in the works. We do not believe in false announcements and these are projects that will prove the capability of this Government. Who can manage our economy better than we can? These discussions with foreign companies, these new projects are proof that international investors believe in the economic policies and strategies introduced by this Government.” 

Delivering his speech after a tour of the new facility, Wickremesinghe quipped, “Every single young person newly employed here makes a salary higher than the Prime Minister of this country. That makes me very happy and proud.” 

Investments such as the LSEG facility will have a multiplying effect, predicted Wickremesinghe, as more and more ambitious youth become qualified in cutting edge fields. He acknowledged that the Government would have to initiate wider training and skills improvement sectors to give youth a better chance to sharpen their skills and become employed in top paying tech jobs.