Sri Lanka looks for more economic links with Greater Mekong region | Sinhala News

Sri lanka News- Sri Lanka is looking for stronger links with the Mekong region, with bilateral trade already on a growth path officials have said as the country faces the worst currency crisis in the history of its intermediate regime central bank.

“We are facing an economic crisis in Sri Lanka resulting shortage of basic requirements like food, medicine, gas,” S.M.D. Suriyakumara, Sri Lanka – Greater Mekong Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has said at the council’s 11th Annual General Meeting.

“Many Sri Lankans are getting used to changing their lifestyle and finding new ways of living and earning.

“As a council, if we can bring contributions through investments, and opportunities encouraging
tourism, that is what as a Council we can do at this moment since it is what the country needs.”

“Sri Lanka’s rupee fell from 182 to 360 to the US dollar after the central bank printed money for two years to suppress interest after a tax cut in a bid to close an output gap (stimulus) but blew the balance of payments apart and triggered a default on sovereign debt.

The Greater Mekong Chambers deals with East Asian countries.

Sri Lanka had imported from Myanmar 2.3 million dollars and exported 7.5 million dollars, Suriyakumar said.

From Thailand, Sri Lanka has imported 397 million US dollars and exported 51.6 million US dollars.

From Cambodia, Sri Lanka has imported 2.84 million dollars and exported 3.14 million dollars.

From Vietnam, it has imported 62.88 million dollars and exported 397 million dollars.

From Laos, we have imported 1.43 million dollars and exported 0.14 million dollars worth of goods.

“We must try to narrow down that gap in exports and imports. That’s what the solution we can contribute as a Council,” Suriyakumar had said.

Suriyakimar was addressing the 11 annual general meeting of the chamber attended by the Ambassador of Vietnam Ho Thi Thanh Truc, and Minister Counselor of Royal Thai Embassy in Sri Lanka Arthit Prasartkul

Vietnam Ambassador Truc said Sri Lanka and her country were both at a location which had attracted the attention of world power and was advocating private sector empowerment.

“In terms of trade and investment, Vietnam and Sri Lanka have many similarities that create a favourable
environment for business people of both countries,” she said.

“Because of our strategic locations in each region, both countries have attracted the attention of the
world’s major powers.

Both governments, on the other hand, advocate for private sector empowerment and a public-private partnership model for mutual development.

Sri Lanka has also signed bilateral investment treaties with 28 countries and double taxation treaties with 38 countries, including Vietnam”.(Colombo/Sept18/2022)

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