While Sri Lanka’s economy is getting from bad to worse with the US dollar crisis and import restrictions tightening up severely, the country is yet to witness days that are unimaginable. It’s not a good time for Sri Lanka, several activities that kept the economy going have collapsed. Permanent, sustainable long term plans need to be implemented immediately, says Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the President.
Delivering a very ‘worrying’ speech at the ‘Top German Brands in Sri Lanka’ event held at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo on Monday Dr. Jayasundera made these remarks.
He said, “It’s not a good time for Sri Lanka. I have been a long standing Secretary to the President and this is the worst time of my life. 2020 saw a negative economic growth, not just a negative growth but several activities that kept the economy running have collapsed.”
“The trade balance was better earlier. The country was importing twice as much as it was exporting before the restrictions were placed. World shipping and commodity prices have gone up now. The trade deficit was US$10 billion a month, when tourism and foreign remittances were coming in. The country is trapped with a debt of $4 billion as of today,” he added.
He also mentioned that Sri Lanka didn’t have difficulties honouring its obligations in the past.
“Trade restrictions came in 2020 and it’s not comfortable for many of us. International brands from countries such as Germany bring value to our construction, agriculture, energy, apparel, tire, automobile, jewellery and so on,” he noted.
German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Holger Seubert in his remarks at the event stated that diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Germany began in 1953, 68 years ago. “The German Government has decided on an Indo-pacific strategy in the region. Future of international relations will be shaped in Sri Lanka while Sri Lanka exports three times more than imports to Germany. Trade is a concern for the German government and a stable and reliable framework is what German businessmen look for.”