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Export-oriented economy way forward – PM

The agriculture sector needs to adapt to new and emerging trends so that it can transform into an export-oriented one along with the rest of the economy over the next few years, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Speaking at the foundation-stone laying ceremony of the Tantirimale Reservoir project in the ancient city of Malwathu Oya yesterday (25 Aug), Wickremesinghe said agriculture-income in the area could be increased by up to 50% if the sector was empowered and equipped with new knowhow.

The Prime Minister also emphasised the need for a market economy not unlike the trade economy of the ancient Raja Rata kingdom centered around the Malwathu Oya irrigation projects.

“Sri Lanka can no longer sustain itself as a nation that begs, a society whose very survival depends on loans. We can no longer live as a country that doesn’t have enough foreign exchange to pay even for essential imports,” he said.

“We have to escape this status quo. The biggest challenge this country will face over the next five years is whether or not we will achieve that. We have to decide whether we will become a market economy like the Raja Rata kingdom or whether we’ll fail,” he added.

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