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Sri Lanka PM Predicts More Growth in Next Year

Monday, July 31, 2017

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday assured more economic growth was likely next year as against an estimated range of 4.5-5% this year. He said that the original forecast for 2017 was 6% growth but drought, followed by floods, is likely to reduce it to 4.5-5%. He said that as opposed to some individuals’ perceptions, the twin natural disasters experienced are unlikely to cause a major impact as the country was resilient. “The floods and drought should have had a negative impact on the economy. Already our agriculture has suffered and our growth should have come down from the 4.4% we had in 2016. This is not the case. We have stablised, despite all these issues,” the Prime Minister said. To support his view, Wickremesinghe quoted the IMF’s mid-July statement which said: “Macroeconomic and financial conditions have been stable, despite severe weather events and global market volatility.” However, he said Sri Lanka has to get ready if this climate pattern continues impacting the economy. The Prime Minister also reiterated the country has been placed on the “right track.” “We are accumulating reserves to create non-debt inflows, particularly through exports and FDI. We are entering into bilateral economic partnerships,” he added. He said the Government took strong decisions early to reduce fiscal deficit, to rebuild foreign reserves and introduce a more equitable tax system to restore macroeconomic stability. “Fiscal consolidation has been the key macro concern for all of us,” he added. “We are now navigating a period of transformation amidst global turbulence. Our country has enormous potential,” the Prime Minister emphasised.

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