Port City Bill has potential for investment surge in Sri Lanka

The Port City Project has the potential to give the investment surge the country needs to improve its economy, Money and Capital Market State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. He was speaking at the debate on the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill in Parliament, yesterday.

The state minister said, “As far as the Port City Law is concerned, it must be very clearly established. Since 2015, there has been a constant deterioration of our economy. From 2006 to 2014, the GDP of our country improved significantly, and by 2014, we had around 79 billion dollar worth GDP. After 2014, it hit a stagnant patch, and our economy was in the same position for the past five years.

“We had a rising debt situation within this period, as well as a drop in the GDP and world economic business rankings during. It is time that we do something about this. Our reserves have gone low and our currency has depreciated. We need a new impetus for our economy to move forward. We have fixed a number of economic problems created during the previous regime. For example, the interest rates are now more manageable, slowing down the rupee depreciation.”

He said, “After the impact of COVID-19 on the economy subdues, we can get it up and running better. We have spent Rs.138 billion to counter the pandemic. While doing that, we are fast-tracking development projects that were lagging behind during the previous government. The government is also investing in public development projects with the hope that Sri Lanka will get back on the fast track of development.

“We need a new economic burst of at least USD 3 billion to come into the country on an annual basis. It will ensure that we maintain a growth rate of 6% in the country. The Port City is a development project that has the potential to give us that necessary burst in investments.”

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