Sri Lanka to improve soft infrastructure for investment

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is improving its soft infrastructure to boost investments to make the country an export driven economic and financial hub of the Indian Ocean, Finance Minister Managala Samaraweera has said in Korea.

"Developing physical infrastructure must be done along with administrative and legal frameworks to ensure required policy or regulatory support to streamline and boost public and private investments," Samaraweera was quoted as saying during a meeting of China led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Korea on June 16.

Sri Lanka has expropriated several private firms in 2011 and also slapped retrospective and so-called ‘revenge’ taxes in 2015, undermining the country’s status as a safe place for environment.

Due to activists going to court, the practice of changing income and value added tax without going to parliament has stopped 2015. However import levies can still be changed by gazette, like a colonial possession of feudal rulers with no parliament, liberty activists say.

Sri Lanka was aiming to be an export driven economic and financial hub of the Indian Ocean, with a high level reform agenda in key sectors of the economy to help the private sector drive growth.

Formulation of a new trade and investment policy, tax reforms, and various other measures to improve investor climate are also being implemented.

Sri Lanka also wanted to build climate and disaster resilient infrastructure.

"If we are to meet this challenge, we must incorporate climate resilient concepts into all future infrastructure development projects," Samaraweera had said.

There have been concerns raised whether an expressway to the South of the country had contributed to increasing flooding. (Colombo/June19/2017)





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