- Says new framework needed to attract FDI
- Pledges to assist industries provide jobs and attract investment
- Argues tax incentives needed from Govt. to biz
- Plans new regulations to assist gem industry
Democratic National Front (DNF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa said that he would establish a new framework to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Sri Lanka to assist in economic development.
Premadasa, addressing a rally in Eheliyagoda on Monday, also outlined plans to assist small and medium industries to expand their activities and widen their production facilities to provinces to provide jobs to the masses. Recalling the apparel factory program initiated during his father’s time as President, Premadasa noted that this assisted FDI inflows to Sri Lanka, which generated jobs for thousands of people.
“Today there is a lot of FDI going to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. We should create a system that provides incentives for these investors to come to Sri Lanka. This was what was done during my father’s time when he created 200 garment factories. His one demand was that all these investors provide at least 1,000 jobs to local people. It is only through modern industrialisation that we can drive the economy and increase growth. We must create a production economy that is centred on exports. I will create such an economy,” he said.
Pointing out that small and medium industries make up the backbone of Sri Lanka’s economy, Premadasa opined that they should receive more support from the Government, including tax incentives. He stressed that this was an important aspect for growth in countries with economies similar to that of Sri Lanka and as such it was important for the Government to focus on this sector.
“I also hope to develop the gem industry through a new framework. When I become President on 17 November, I will create a new system that will benefit the small gem businessmen and will not harm the environment. I expect to create a system whereby people can get permits without being sent from pillar to post. We have to update the regulations of the gem industry, which are archaic and not suitable to modern times. I have learned how to help the small people from my father. That is what I am dedicated to.”