CB Governor says “ball in the court of professionals” and calls for greater international visibility for post-war nation
By Uditha Jayasinghe
The Central Bank Governor last night called on marketers to position Sri Lanka at a global level and work to implement the Budget and reach the ambitious goals laid out by the government.
Addressing the The Fellows and Chartered Marketers' Forum of Charetered Institute of Marketing (CIM) where he was the Chief Guest, the Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal called on the marketing community to upgrade their professionalism to deliver on the challenges facing post-war Sri Lanka. Delivering a synopsis of the government’s plan to double per capita income in five years and create equitable growth he insisted that the time had come for all stakeholders to “read from the same hymn book.”
Deviating from cricket analogies of how doubling the current per capita income is akin to playing twenty20 cricket, Cabraal turned to tennis to get his point across. “It took us 56 years to get our per capita income to US$ 1000 and another 17 years for it to reach US$ 2000. This will give you some idea of the challenge ahead of us. Now we are looking to double it again by 2015. This is like starting with test cricket, then playing one dayers and now adapting to a twenty20 tournament. As professionals the ball is now in your court. You must take full advantage of the opportunities available within the Budget to assist Sri Lanka to achieve its full potential,” he said.
Giving an idea of how intense the change process would be the Governor pointed out that currently the bank lending stood at Rs.1.7-Rs.8 trillion. If Sri Lanka is to reach the growth it wants then this has to increase by another Rs. 4 trillion. “This means that the business processes must be upgraded, regulations must be strengthened and payment systems should become more efficient. This is just one sector – imagine this being extended to every field in the country,” he asserted.
While congratulating the new Charter holders who received their accolades last night, Cabraal called on the marketing community to think about how they can position their company or even a section of it to meet the massive challenges ahead. “The time for thinking small is over. Now we are targeting 65, 000 houses for the poor. There was a time when we would have thought 5000 was difficult. Everywhere, ports, airports, power plants and highways are springing up and business must move to absorb this infrastructure. It is time for professionals to put Sri Lanka in the global limelight. Only then can we achieve even more than we lost during three decades of conflict,” stressed Governor Cabraal.