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Crisis-hit Sri Lanka likely to see $100 million from Canada diaspora

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is likely to see $100 million infrastructure investment by Canadian diaspora into Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya said.

The minister said this after meeting a visiting Canadian diaspora group this week.

“A $100 million infrastructure investment is likely to be finalized,” said Balasuriya without elaborating.

Sri Lanka is looking to bring in more foreign investment from Diasporas from Canada, United Kingdom, United States and United Arab Emirates.

The move comes as a part of attracting more foreign inflows into the country which has defaulted sovereign debts amid an economic crisis.

The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Business Convention of Canada, Ganesan Sugamer said, his diaspora group  is willing to help Sri Lanka to come out of the crisis through investing in SMEs, bring business, create confidence, stability, employment and give publicity for ventures in the island.

The Canadian diaspora group had discussions with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena regarding their plans of investment.

Both leaders have asked the diaspora group to consider investing in long neglected North and the East.

Sri Lanka is in the process of amending a number of laws to fast track investment to boost foreign inflows, the state minister said.

“Certain enterprise laws will be altered for the interest of brining investment to Sri Lanka, such as Free Trade Agreements, tax exemptions, labor laws,” Balasuriya told EconomyNext separately.

Sri Lanka is looking for avenues out of an economic crisis that was generated through poor implemented economic reforms and poor management.

A raft of poor economic policies triggered month long protest ‘Aragalaya’ early this year and the economic crisis turned into a political crisis which forced former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government to resign.

“Bringing investment to Sri Lanka is one step of recovery and for any form of recovery there has to be macroeconomic stability, which was somewhat there before the Aragalaya and incidents of protests.”

“Three months ago with the publicity Sri Lanka was given, no one wants to invest or visit Sri Lanka, because the mindset is that there are riots, looting, theft and burning of houses.” (Colombo/Nov04/2022)

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