President Rajapaksa has said that the country has today reached a time when the country’s economic indices are at a high level, which had been never witnessed in history and entered a period of great prosperity. The President made this reference at the launch of the Central Bank’s Annual Report for 2010 at the Central Bank Auditorium.
The President said that presenting the report it was clearly mentioned that there is a noticeable difference today in the social and economic environment that prevails from when and where earlier. They live today in an environment that is more free and prosperous and than in the past, as well as greatly embellished. He noted that they were today in an environment where economic progress moves together with ethical values and the protection of a green and sustainable Sri Lanka. While they live under conditions that have an impact on the present and future conditions of the people that can bring about productive changes in all sectors, he underlined that they have reached this point after a period of great challenges.
The President pointed out that when the entire world was registering a minus economic growth, developed economies were shattering and the economic growth of some advancing countries was deteriorating, Sri Lanka has succeeded in achieving a record eight percent economic growth. Hitherto solutions for problems in the country were found within a foreign framework. But the President reminisced that Sri Lanka was today taking decisions safeguarding her identity and in an environment improving with traditional cultural features.
The President pointed out that the Government was able to launch massive infrastructural projects. On the other hand, work was launched in relation to the agricultural, fisheries, small and medium scale industrial sectors, housing which was a basic need of the people, drinking water, schools and programmes to provide power supplies to every household. The President emphasized that their intention was to reduce the gap between the town and the village in every sector and eliminate the difference between the town and the village.
The notable growth in the economy for last year is displayed in every sphere when compared with 2009. The agri-economy has achieved a seven percent growth while the industrial sector has recorded an 8.4 percent growth in addition to the eight percent growth in the service sector. Unemployment which stood at 5.8 percent in 2009 has dipped to 4.9 percent last year. The per capita income which was 2057 US Dollars in 2009 has improved to 2399 Dollars last year. Accordingly the Central Bank Report points out that a strong economy which could easily reach the per capita income to 4000 US Dollars in 2016 has dawned. A record growth of 46 percent is witnessed in the tourism sector. 654 thousand tourists reached the island last year. An outstanding growth in foreign reserves was seen last year. It was 6.4 billion US Dollars. There was also a 28 percent growth in earnings from migrant workers. This is attributed to the agreements inked with foreign governments leading to higher salaries and more jobs. The Government’s income in 2010 grew by 17 percent. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral handed over the report to President Rajapaksa. Minister Basil Rajapksa, Deputy Minster Geethanjana Gunawardena and Finance Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundare were present on the occasion.