Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe said there would be a round of liberalization before the next budget and a system whereby the minimum wage for the Sri Lankan working class would be US$400.
He said this at a forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka on the theme, ‘Sri Lanka-the next Asian Economic Miracle’.
The Premier said he would make a statement on Sri Lanka’s economic policy prior to the presentation of the budget and underscored the fact that GSP plus was the key to Sri Lanka’s development.
“We have the ability to develop our economy and strengthen our democracy. Open market leads to open societies and we are committed to both. Now this is a challenge for Sri Lankan domestic investors. How do we utilize these opportunities. GSP plus gives us the opportunity to deal with 6,500 products that could be marketed in Europe. I don’t think we can manufacture 6,500 products, no one can. What are the areas we are going to focus on. How do we go ahead. It is by collaborating with foreign direct investors. We should make sure that our private sector is strong enough for investment. I know there are Government regulations which are actually barriers. Before the next budget there will be another round of liberalization. I hope to make a statement on the economic policy prior to the budget. We are having a tight fiscal policy because of the debt situation. We need to find space to pay the debts which amounts to Rs.4.2 trillion,” the Premier said.