ECONOMYNEXT – Corrupt practices are is still prevalent in the shipping sector which, along with government policies favouring influential corporate and voter bases discourage foreign investors, Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council chairman Chrisso de Mel said.
“We may have the best ideas and strategies to grow exports and be successful in international trade but unless we have discipline, trust and respect for human life and nature we will not have a future,” he said.
“It is time we learnt from the past and make necessary changes,” de Mel told the 48th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council.
“We feel all policies are directed to fulfil a businessman’s wish-list or targeted at the voter base.
“This results in a lack of certainty which is directly connected to investor trust which will eventually determine foreign direct investments that will flow into the country.”
De Mel, who was re-elected as SLSC chairman for a second year, said the country needs to take note of the degradation of human life and values which have taken place in a subtle manner and have eroded into the quality of life.
“We are now living in a time where ethics and morals are no longer considered virtues while integrity and honesty are not important any more. And love and respect to human beings and nature no longer exist.
”Due to the decline and demise of these most important attributes people have not only lost values and purpose of life but also the right spirit in which business be carried out,” de Mel said.
He recalled how 30 years ago, a friend who was interviewed for a job was rejected after he refused to comply with suggestions he be ready to offer bribes to get work done in Colombo port.
“We are still facing the same dilemma. Do we want to pass on this culture to the next generation or make the necessary reforms, where people are proud to uphold integrity, and consider honesty to be more valuable than profit?”
De Mel said it was “almost a trend these days” where business leaders are helplessly running to politicians “looking for favour and unfair advantage but they complain if others do the same.”
(COLOMBO, July 11, 2018)