Sri Lanka formulates reform agenda to improve investor climate

2017-06-19 09:10:50 GMT2017-06-19 17:10:50(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

COLOMBO, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's finance ministry on Monday said it was formulating a new trade and investment policy, tax reforms and various other measures to improve the investor climate in the island country.

A statement by the ministry quoted Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera as saying the government aimed to make Sri Lanka an export-driven economic and financial hub of the Indian Ocean, while creating unprecedented opportunities in many sectors.

"In order to achieve these objectives, the government has set out a high-level reform agenda in several key sectors of the economy, facilitating and empowering the private sector as the principle engine of growth," Samaraweera said.

The minister added that given the rapid increase in climate-related disasters in many countries, like the floods Sri Lanka faced recently, the building of climate/disaster resilient infrastructure will be of paramount importance for the future.

"If we are to meet this challenge, we must incorporate climate resilient concepts into all future infrastructure development projects," he added.

The Sri Lankan government led by Maithripala Sirisena recently announced that it hopes to attract foreign investors into the island country and convert it into an international and trading hub due to its geographic location.

Already a mega 1.4 billion dollars Port City project, the first of its kind in South Asia, is being constructed near the Colombo Port which will attract investments totaling 13 billion dollars from next year.