Private sector, the driving force in the economy
– Dr Amunugama
Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Sarath Amunugama said the private sector was the driving force of the economy, though the government, too, had a role to play.
Addressing a discussion at the Business for Peace Alliance (BPA) Conference, ‘Peace Spells Opportunity’, on Friday Minister Dr. Amunugama said that both sectors, private and public, had their individual roles to play in nation building. Now that guns had fallen silent and peace was a reality, there was no time for procrastination or complacency, and a concerted effort had to be made to revive the hitherto stifled economic activity and accelerate growth.
"What has to be done now must be done," Dr. Amunugama said.
All private sector expectations perhaps had not been fulfilled but steps would be taken to address them. The government was not averse to progressive ideas that would allay doubts and assist in ushering in economic progress, the Minister said.
The postwar outlook would be that Sri Lankans had no time to lose and they had to go ahead and do what they must to get the country on its feet’, past Chairperson, Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Rizani Aziz said.
Chairman Young Entrepreneurs, Sri Lanka, key speaker Patrick Amarasinghe introducing the subject ‘BizPact Projects and SME Investment Opportunities and Challenges by Regional Entrepreneurs,’ said, ‘Small and Medium Enterprises’ could not command a clout to project their importance though they contributed to the economy.
He said access to trade and business locations should be freely available in all parts of the country.
Panelists included National Counselor-European Chamber of Commerce, Colombo, Niranjala de Mel, from Australia, Jeremy Liyanage, UK, Jay Perera, USA, Dr. Alex Wijesinghe, Germany, Susan Joachim, UAE, Samantha Rasquinho.
Discussions centered round the end of the conflict and creating a climate for progress in economic activity. Positive support from the EU, including free trade agreements, and interaction with all EU countries were looked at positively, the conference was told.