Sri Lanka sets up PPP unit to draw investment

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has set up a unit to bring in investments through public private partnerships as the people are already burdened with repaying a large government debt.

"The unit is mandated to source investment from both national and international private sector to drive the national economic agenda," newly appointed Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce’s Investment & Business Conclave 2017.

Sri Lanka has however lost the opportunity to build the first section of the Kandy – Colombo expressway, which according to analysts is probably the only road that has enough traffic volume to be considered as a PPP, with Chinese finance.

Sri Lanka is also planning to build the firs sections of a mass rapid transit system in Colombo with Japanese finance. It is not clear whether at least the rolling stock will be contracted out to a private party.

Samaraweera said Sri Lanka was improving the investment climate promotion, as well as strengthening trade policy and trade facilitation.

To bring sustained investment and growth Sri Lanka has to ensure peace and reconciliation, he said.

"Without reconciliation and durable peace, without guarantees of non-recurrence of conflict, Sri Lanka cannot achieve economic success," he said.

"Human rights, democracy, rule of law, good governance – these are tied to stability, and in turn, to economic success.

"Reconciliation and development are intertwined. Without reconciliation and the stable foundation that it would bring, sustainable economic progress would once again elude our nation." (Colombo/May31/2017)





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