Quite apt to the eventual success of the event in terms of attracting large crowds, Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Indrani Sugathadasa, Deputy Director General Malik Cader (right) and Colombo Stock Exchange CEO Sureka Sellahewa were all smiles at the opening of the Investment Day comprising a mega exhibition and seminars showcasing investment opportunities in capital markets yesterday at the Sirimavo Bandaranike Memorial Exhibition and Convention Centre - Pic by Upul Abayasekara.
No more ‘thallu start’ for Sri Lanka
By Cheranka Mendis
Urging the investor community to think big just like the other Asian countries, Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday stated that the Lankan economy should not be chugging along like an old ‘thallu start’ Ford but must learn to cruise along.
“Our economy should not be chugging along like an old ‘thallu start’ Ford but must cruise along like a Mercedes Benz,” Amunugama said after inaugurating the Securities and Exchange Commission organised Investment Day at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Convention and Exhibition Centre in Colombo.
Addressing a packed event Dr. Amunugama stated that the time has now come to think big and dream big.
“Just like India and China aiming to double their growth Sri Lanka must move forward steadily with investors being given the confidence that they have the capacity to drive forth growth and must do so rigorously and competitively,” he said.
“It is now time to expand the SEC in an aggressive manner to net in those who are willing to invest but lack information to do so,” Dr. Amunugama added.
He also asserted that Sri Lanka can now expect a growth of eight per cent this year with all the investment and positivism brewing in the market. Achieving this number would create a tremendous social change in the market revolutionising the entire social fabric of the country and a large new middle class will emerge, just as in India and China. He also said that Sri Lanka too had just embraced the motto ‘inclusive growth’ as India, where the middle class was set to reach 500 million within the next few years.
Commenting, “The first sign in the new economy is the middle class who should be introduced to the stock market. The foreign investors who left the country taking away nearly US$ 600 million within months are now coming back,” he claimed that a certain company that has already invested US$ 1 billion is showing interest in investing an additional US$ 3 billion to the local economy.