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Monday, 15 January 2018 - 15:18
Sri Lanka plans to strengthen SMEs
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Sri Lanka’s plans to increase the contribution made by smaller-scale businesses to exports and lift foreign direct investment in 2018 were widely discussed at a meeting between Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister of Finance, and a team from Oxford Business Group in Colombo.
 
During the talks, Wickramaratne said the budget for 2018 included measures aimed at bolstering support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises as part of broader plans to hand them a bigger role in Sri Lanka’s economic development.
 
“The 2018 budget focuses on encouraging investments in exports. However, at the moment, a few big companies account for 90% of all earnings from international sales,” he had told OBG’s team.
 
“It is vital, therefore, to strengthen SMEs in exports so that earnings are dispersed and the risks from exposure are reduced”, the State Minister added.
 
Wickramaratne had noted that the budget was drawn up with the aim of playing to the country’s strengths.
 
“Sri Lanka has a favourable geographical location, which allows it to act as a logistics hub between two huge markets, namely China and India,” he said. “It also has a well-educated human resource base, despite its small size.”
 
On the subject of FDI, Wickramaratne acknowledged that FDI had fallen below expectation in the last couple of years.
 
“I expect FDI in 2018 to register an increased growth, taking account of the EU's generalized scheme of preferences plus (GSP+), and the new budget and planned free trade agreements,” the State Minister said.
 
The OBG’s representatives met Wickramaratne with work underway on “The Report: Sri Lanka 2018”, the global research and consultancy firm’s forthcoming publication on Sri Lanka’s economy.
 
The report will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments.
 
The publication will contain a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors, alongside contributions from leading personalities.
 
It will be available in print and online.  
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