President Ranil Wickremesinghe has emphasized the importance of capital, particularly financial and human, for driving growth.
He noted that Sri Lanka’s historical capital formation efforts had been disrupted over the years, leading to current financial struggles.The president was addressing the 36th annual conference of the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka at Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo on 09 August.
He pointed out that while the country had accumulated capital up to 2019, subsequent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn had led to a decline in financial strength.
He drew parallels with other nations, pointing out how capital influx had fuelled their growth, and called for a focus on reorganizing and restructuring the financial system.
He commended the nation’s collective efforts in navigating through challenging times, comparing the present to the previous year and acknowledging the reversal of gloomy circumstances.
He asserted that the country now holds renewed hope and prospects for the future.
The President also expressed his gratitude for the invitation and highlighted significant areas that will shape Sri Lanka’s future trajectory.
President Wickremesinghe also underscored the necessity of moving forward with confidence and determination.
He highlighted the importance of constructive solutions over political distractions, cautioning against the detrimental effects of agitation without viable solutions, and mentioned the vacuum in political leadership that the nation experienced.
He emphasized the need for consistent leadership to address pressing issues.
However, the President praised those who stepped up to take on responsibilities and contribute to the country’s stabilization.
The President also highlighted his acceptance of leadership during the crisis and the subsequent efforts to stabilize Sri Lanka both politically and economically.
He acknowledged the cooperation of various parties and individuals in these endeavours, emphasizing the critical role played by those who united for the nation’s betterment.
Turning to economic challenges, the president addressed the issue of domestic debt optimization and the potential sabotage of these efforts.
He underscored the dire consequences if such endeavours were to fail, which would severely impact the nation’s banking sector and economy at large.
Addressing the issue of human capital, the President highlighted the significance of education and training.
He noted the departure of skilled individuals from the country and expressed concern over the loss of professionals to other nations.
He emphasized the urgent need for the establishment of vocational training centres and universities to address the skills gap and meet the demands of a competitive economy.
He outlined plans to collaborate with the private sector and institutions to create a robust framework for education and training and stressed the importance of creating an environment that encourages professionals to remain in Sri Lanka.
While underscoring the importance of attracting investment, president Wickremesinghe highlighted the need for a competitive economy.
He emphasized that Sri Lanka’s historical capital formation had faltered due to various reasons and underscored the importance of foreign investments and the Colombo financial zone to secure necessary funds.
He stressed the role of a streamlined investment procedure and called for the development of a more appealing investment environment to compete with neighbouring countries.
President Wickremesinghe also discussed the legislative changes being proposed, including the devolution of powers to provincial councils and streamlined procedures for new universities.
He mentioned plans for the establishment of multiple institutions to cater to the evolving demands of various fields.He emphasized the importance of human resource development, especially in universities, and urged the participation of organizations like the OPA to ensure the required human resources for future growth.
He emphasized that the key to Sri Lanka’s future success lies in the strategic management of financial and human capital in driving the country’s economic prosperity, marking them as pivotal factors for the nation’s future development to foster a thriving and competitive economy.