Sri Lankan wants trade instead of loans - Ravi
February 20, 2016 12:13 pm
Everybody who insists that we have a five star democracy please do come and invest with us now, Sri Lankan finance minister Ravi Karunanayake said speaking at the investor seminar organized by the Austrian chamber of economy.
This investor seminar, which was held under the patronage of the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, had an overwhelming response from the Austrian business community.
Speaking at the seminar, the President outlined the scope of the seminar and made an open request to the investors who were present.
However, it was the finance minister who took the main anchor role after president handed him the mantle and urged the investors to come without any hesitation as the country has changed into a new era after the election of Maithripala Sirisena as the President.
He added Sri Lanka has been converted to a clean economy ever since the election of president to his office and within one year the economy was on tracks. Minister Karunanayake added that ‘everybody who insists us to have a five star democracy please do come and invest with us now.’
Finance minister said Sri Lanka has the lowest tax rate in the world and requested those who wished to start ventures to come in. The Minister said Sri Lanka currently has FTA with India, Pakistan and urged those who anticipate markets in South Asia and elsewhere to use the benefits of the FTAs and plant their ventures in Sri Lanka.
The finance minster added that instead of loans Sri Lanka wants to get trade.
Meanwhile those who came to know that it was the birthday of the finance minister wished him and in return Karunanayake said that ‘the biggest birthday gift that you could give me today is to invest in Sri Lanka.’
Meanwhile the forum gave opportunities to raise questions from the minister on various points the Austrian investors had and prompt response came from the Lankan side.
Meanwhile the Sri Lankan president’s tour of Germany and Austrian will end today after he meets with the Sri Lankan community living in Austria.
President Maithripala Sirisena became the first Sri Lankan leader to make a state visit to Austria after 60 years.
There is more room to increase trade in the future, the Austrian president Heinz Fischer said addressing the press after the bilateral talks with the Sri Lankan President at the president’s office in Vienna, Austria.
The Sri Lankan president was received by his Austrian counterpart with full state honors, with a guard of honor and the two national anthems of the countries.
This is the first state visit to Austria by a Sri Lankan leader ever since both countries built relationship almost six decades ago.
Bothe the leaders said the main focus on this discussion was strengthening the trade between the two countries while both leaders have discussed the market access to products joint investments and more over improving the tourism between two countries.
Infrastructure development using the modern technology and improving the education were other topics that were discussed and looked on the Austrian assistance.
Meanwhile the Austrian President was of the view that Sri Lanka could include provisions for the protection of human rights in the new process of constitution making.
The Austrian president was optimistic that Sri Lanka could move forward with the election of the President Maithripala Sirisena and said the new political change has been positive to them.
Shehan Baranage reporting from Vienna, Austria