President and entrepreneurs on a positive note

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and local entrepreneurs was conducted in a very positive environment despite several problems faced by local industries and service providers.

To begin with, all the big names were around the conference table. The entrepreneurs praised the government’s Covid-19 control programme and said that their businesses were safeguarded due to the success of this programme.

Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral said that now things are moving on the track.

He had previously told Bloomberg that a steady inflow of forex is expected soon, pressures on the economy will witness some level of easing, and Sri Lanka will avoid a debt default by all means.

China, India, and Bangladesh are helping with the foreign exchange crisis according to Cabral.

At this meeting, the governor pointed out that adverse publicity was harming recovery offers and many investors nodded.

The President asked the entrepreneurs to invest in local industries and join in the process of nation-building.

Foreign exchange generation, state fiscal policy, foreign employment promotion, investment incentives, increasing exports, renewable energy, agricultural products, adequate supply of fertilizers, and tourism promotion was discussed, and the president said that large scale investments in a number of would open up a great opportunity to control foreign exchange.

As the environment was optimistic the challenges in achieving these goals were little disused. However, when the issue of cement shortage came up Minister Basil Rajapaksa pointed out that this was due to the revival of the construction industry.

The President has been meeting selected farmers, academics, and the clergy in the past few months, however, these groups were largely hand-picked supporters but, in this instance, the audience was much more representative.

Although the business environment is seriously challenged with Sri Lanka’s stock index plunging 4.47 percent to its lowest since October 2020 with power cuts and fuel shortage issues cropping up it seems that entrepreneurs have decided to move on with the tide.

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