ECONOMYNEXT – Economic activity that is now concentrated in the island’s Western Province, mainly Colombo, will be expanded to other provinces through decentralization, Sri Lanka’s president has said.
“We need a shift in our economic focus, which is currently centred around Colombo and the Western Province. Currently, 46 per cent of the country’s economy is concentrated in the Western Province,”Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the ceremonial opening of the fifth session of the ninth parliament on Wednesday (7).
“This has to change. To address this, we are implementing a strategic plan to broaden economic activities in cities like Jaffna, Trincomalee, Bingiriya, Hambantota, and Kandy.”
“Efforts are underway to bolster the economies of all nine provinces, with delegated powers related to sectors like vocational education and agriculture given to provincial councils under the third list of provincial council powers in the constitution. This decentralization aims to accelerate economic growth in each province, fostering healthy economic competition among them.”
Wickremesinghe said plans are also in place to leverage the country’s geographical location, including the development of three new ports. “The goal is to position the country as a service centre and economic hub in the Indian Ocean.”
“We must transition to a modern, robust economy. I will present the Economic Transformation Act to Parliament shortly, and relevant institutions have been established.” (Colombo/Feb7/2024)