Foreign investments, not at the cost of local industries – President

March, 6, 2018

President Maithripala Sirisena said the government would not allow the foreign direct investments (FDI) at the cost of local industries.

President Sirisena mentioned this in a discussion held regarding the issues related to local industries at the presidential secretariat Monday (5).

A number of local Industrialists were present at this discussion.

President Sirisena who pondered on the fact that a precise policy for economy can only be constructed when local businesses and local industries are strengthened, said that he would take all the necessary decisions to protect the local industries.

The President also motioned that strengthening local industries is important when providing benefits to the masses.

Detailed discussions were held regarding the decisions that should be taken for the progression of the local industries while protecting them. The attention was given for the mechanisms that should be taken to promote local milk powder industry, local biscuit industry, as well as local motor products. Discussions were also held regarding the issues pertaining to indigenous Ayurvedic industry and steps that should be taken on behalf of its progression.

During this meeting, the President has given instructions to the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to not to allow any foreign investment that would be a challenge to local industries, while paying his attention regarding the difficulties faced by local businessmen due to the granting of permission to a foreign retail networks to engage in business in Sri Lanka.

The discussion was also focused on how the high interest rates have affected the domestic industries, and the President said already discussions have been held to launch a programme to provide relief to the local industries through state banks.

President Sirisena emphasized at this discussion that the contribution of the public sector as well as the private sector is very important when building the economy of the country.

The President said that he will take steps to appoint a committee comprising of representatives of all the government agencies and local businessmen to look into the solutions that can be provided to them.

Ministers Malik Samarawickrama, Rishad Bathiudeen, Lakshman Kiriella, Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance. Dr. R.H.S Samaratunga, Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy Industry and Commerce Secretary K.D.N. Ranjit Ashoka, Mrs. Chandani Wijewardana, Secretary, Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Mr. Ravindra Hewavitharana, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development and others participated at this meeting.