Colombo Port City Economic Commission
Construction industry and 2023 budget expectations
Today, the country is reeling from the worst forex crisis triggered by conflicting money and exchange rate policies. Sri Lanka has been hit by high inflation and forex shortages, accompanied by trade and exchange controls.
As a country, we need a hard reset and to develop a strategy for sustained economic development.
We would need to consider the following: corporatise non-performing state owned enterprises (SOEs); widen the tax net; cut government expenditure and build public service capacity; increase foreign direct investments (FDIs); and increase the export of industrial manufacture to reach a value of US$ 20 billion (currently, total exports stand at 12 billion dollars).
International investors who are willing to participate in Sri Lanka’s recovery will want clear unambiguous answers on debt sustainability. To this end, much depends on what is strategised and offered to private investors who might wish to participate in such a recovery.
It’s now essential to implement a new economic model for responsible development, which will ensure support for export acceleration, new industries, innovation, digitalisation and talent development.
However, a ‘no care attitude’ from public institutions (like we have today, in the case of some entities) could delay the economic recovery. A lot will therefore depend on the experienced president taking very hard decisions.
International investors who are willing to participate in Sri Lanka’s recovery will want clear unambiguous answers on debt sustainability