News Tech: Sri Lanka’s economic woes will last for a year, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said, adding that Sri Lanka will need to think outside the box and look into new areas such as logistics and nuclear power to revive its bankrupt economy. At his two-day conference entitled ‘Let’s reset Sri Lanka’ on Friday, Wickremesinghe said the country’s reforms would also require tax increases.
That’s how we take advantage of our strategic position,” he said, referring to the island nation’s two main ports. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. The export industry has been hit hard by fuel shortages caused by the foreign exchange crisis. The tourism industry, the backbone of Sri Lanka’s economy, was also hit first by her COVID-19 pandemic and then by economic turmoil.
“I believe that in the next six months to a year, we will have to go through a tough period until around July next year,” he said, adding that Sri Lanka hopes to recover new sectors such as logistics and nuclear power. “One thing I strongly believe is logistics. Looking at economic growth in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, logistics can play a big role here in Colombo, Hambantota and Trincomalee,” he added.
Wickremesinghe, who was elected president by parliament last month, will serve the remainder of the term held by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country and resigned amid mass anti-government protests. Wickremesinghe, who has previously said Sri Lanka’s economy is broken, said economic reforms would require higher taxes. “As for taxing wealth, we need to rely on these measures first for economic recovery and then for social stability,” he said.