The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) invited Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama to their monthly meeting held recently at ‘The Victorian’, The Kingsbury to discuss the implementation of a more realistic approach to economic growth by taking into consideration the concerns of the business community, which should be a priority for the nations’ leaders.
In his address, the Minister stated that the country’s economic priorities also correspond with business interest. He stated that the Government has embarked on economic reforms that will accelerate growth and open up new business opportunities, which include positive steps to improve the business environment and enhance support for companies.
To this end, he indicated that taking initiatives to enter into bilateral agreements with countries such as India, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan and Korea would open up opportunities for foreign investment business partnerships and in addition, the forthcoming restoration of the GSP+ would also be a boost to our export sector. In conclusion, he assured COYLE members of the services of his office and his availability to businessmen to iron out any issues faced by them.
COYLE Chairman Kasun Rajapaksa thanked the Minister for including COYLE on the Stakeholder Consultations Committee on Trade in Services Liberalisation and for considering the proposals and suggestions made by the Chamber.
COYLE welcomed the moves taken to improve the economy, but stressed on the importance of implementing more business-friendly policies and infrastructure improvements for local entrepreneurs, as well as discussing issues related to the signing of FTAs with the business sector before finalisation. This would avoid the Government and business enterprises being at cross purposes.
The Chamber also re-iterated that it was imperative that the Sri Lankan Government send a strong and positive signal to current and future local investors, through smooth and expeditious resolution of the issues faced by these investors. Several COYLE members raised concerns about lack of standardization and controls over products being sold in the market hindering local businesses, duty free import permits to foreign investors in various sectors including the industrial sectors, which are affecting local investors who cannot compete and are pushed out of business.
COYLE continues to serve as a foundation for its advocacy efforts in dialoging with Government policy and decision makers with a view to enhancing business entrepreneurship and taking the country forward towards economic progress.