Sagala Wants Multinationals To Play Critical Role In Driving Economic Growth In Sri Lanka Despite Local Challenges

Project Management, Youth Affairs and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka called on the multinationals operating in Sri Lanka to play a crucial role in generating economic growth. 

Addressing the formation of a collective of Multinational Corporations operating in Sri Lanka, Ratnayaka said, "Sri Lanka is now at a decisive juncture, where the country is currently positioned as a middle income country, but fast approaching the high income category. Needless to say, there are global challenges that impact Sri Lanka’s growth as in the case of many other nations. There is no way of side-stepping these, but we must meet them head on, by following a long term strategy and a vision, which the current government is driving under the leadership of the Hon. Prime Minister."

He also added, "The government, I must say, cannot achieve this on its own. We obviously need the support of many stakeholders to achieve this goal collectively.  The private sector, which forms the backbone of our economy plays a pivotal role in the entire process. . When you look at the private sector, while the local companies can do so much, there is the multinational sector, which, by design, is equipped to weather the most difficult of business environments as they operate in many countries across the globe. If you look at many of the emerging markets such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, etc. you will see that many multinationals play a crucial role in generating economic growth through their business activities. Sri Lanka too has over 500 MNCs and some - like the members of LMNC - have been here for many decades.  Recently, we have also seen a growing trend of many technology-based MNCs investing in the  Sri Lankan market. 

"Since 2015, the government has been increasingly facilitating the ease of doing business in Sri Lanka, with the objective of attracting foreign direct investments which form a vital part of our economic strategy. While we are creating the right environment for them to come and invest and operate in Sri Lanka, what we haven’t done enough is to harness the business acumen, experience and knowledge possessed by the Multinationals, which would enhance Sri Lanka’s position globally as an attractive investment destination.

In this context, I am glad to see that a group of leading MNCs have come together with this exact objective in mind. It was very convincing to hear the presentation on LMNC made by Mr. Koest, which gives me the comfort that this group brings decades of experience and expertise, as well as the commitment to champion strategic investments, to the table. I find this a timely and welcome move on their part.

While we understand as the government that MNC’s have their own specific set of challenges, and while we may not be equipped to find solutions to all of these, at least the assurance can be given that this is a start of a mutually benefitting win-win partnership that will take Sri Lanka forward."

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