Fears over country situation abate; a slightly more positive outlook unfolds: Survey

July, 8, 2019

The latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence index (BCI) poll state that the economy will improve in the next 12 months, where as in May only 6% of respondents were as optimistic.

“Many of the economic problems witnessed are because local companies don’t produce enough and due to high taxes,” States a survey respondent.

While another remarks, “the country has extensive resources. However, nobody wants to take the initiatives to develop these resources and make the best use of them.”

BIZ PROSPECTS: A quarter (up from only 3% in the prior month ) of respondents feel that business may improve in the next 12 months , meanwhile 28% ( versus 15% in May) of those polled are hopeful of witnessing improved business prospects in the 12 months ahead.

“Recent terror attacks and growing racism has negatively impacted sales volumes,” says a member of a business community.

Another corporate executive explains, “People don’t have enough money to purchase the things they need. Therefore, they stick to spending on essentials and trying to save the little money they have left. So we have a hard time selling our products.”

Meanwhile, another poll participant says, “The current business climate is not promising in terms of sales volume growth. However, we anticipate that conditions would improve once the situation calms down.”

INVESTMENT: 89% of BCI respondents feel that the country isn’t a safe bet for investment with Sri Lanka’s image abroad not helping the cause.

To this end, a survey respondent observes: “with the country’s safety at risk and political instability…investors won’t find it attractive to channel funds to Sri Lanka.”

Meanwhile, a fellow businessperson asserts, “We’ve faced delays in many activities and planned investments because we had to depend on Board of Investment (BOI) approvals that weren’t provided on time. Resulting in substantial costs being incurred.”