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National Chamber says removal of emergency will boost investment, trade

Aug 31, 2011 2:30:14 PM - www.ft.lk

The National Chamber of Commerce yesterday welcomed the removal of emergency saying it will boost investment and trade.
Following is the full text of NCCSL’s statement issued by its President Asoka Hettigoda.
Lifting of the emergency regulations from end of August 2011 has been a long felt need by the business community and a timely move by the government.

As the first ever National Chamber established immediately after independence to look after the local business community and presently having a membership of 570 corporate and 2,000 SMEs scattered throughout the country, our main concerns are the infrastructure development with a conducive environment for business and industry development. The recent favourable developments such as mega infrastructure projects and improvements to the supporting services required by the business community have immensely contributed to the business sector and economic development resulting in an 8.5% GDP growth. However the last hurdle that the business sector had was the eroded investor confidence both local and overseas due to the almost continuous existence of emergency regulations.  
The President’s move to lift the emergency, we feel, is timely as it is considered as stepping into a peaceful environment in our nation.  Lifting of emergency is another victory Sri Lanka achieved for last 50 years after 1953 when the emergency regulations were first introduced.  With lifting of emergency, we are sure that the investor confidence will be improved and expected foreign direct investments realised. In a globalised society, any country in the world cannot survive and prosper in isolation as economies are integrated. Especially Sri Lanka with limited natural resources will have to depend on foreign direct investments for higher economic growth for which the investor confidence plays a vital role. In addition we believe that the removal of emergency would boost the local business activities while their efforts in attracting foreign partners could be done with confidence. This will help us maintain the expected economic growth rate of 8% and achieve US$ 4,000 per capita income in 2015 thereby achieving our ultimate goal of becoming the Wonder of Asia.  
As the National Chamber of Commerce, we wish and expect the business community in every part of the country to reap the benefits of peace achieved and hope the current peaceful environment will be sustained for the coming years. With the ending of emergency, the world community, investors and tourists, will get to now know that Sri Lanka is perhaps one of the most peaceful nations with democracy practiced in its fullest extent.

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