Lanka is on the right path towards economic stability
While emphasising that small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) have a bigger potential to rebuild the country’s eco-system, Sri Lanka is on the right track towards economic stability, said Asian Development Bank (ADB), Country Director, Chen Chen on Monday during a media briefing.
Mr. Chen said, “As we are closely coordinating with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international development partners, we believe the country is on the right track towards economic stability. The IMF programme is a very critical part of the economic recovery process.” As a dynamic sector that covers more than 75 per cent of the enterprises in Sri Lanka, SMEs have a bigger potential for the country’s economic recovery, he added.
It was a challenging time for the SME sector as the industry suffered a lot during COVID-19 followed by the economic crisis last year. “We looked into the issues people faced in the country. ADB launched the SME monitor that covers the whole region of Asia and Pacific. Last year Sri Lanka was included in this monitor,” stated Mr. Chen.
He also mentioned that ADB’s overall approach is to rebuild the whole eco-system of the SME sector to play a bigger role in the global value chain. “That’s a key consideration in our assistance. Sri Lanka needs to look into the SME sector and rebuild the credit worthiness in the global value chain. When a country is in an economic crisis it’s very hard to regain the credit worthiness in this context.”
Sri Lanka has to rebuild its policy framework for trade, investment and business climate, noted Mr. Chen. “At ADB we want to deploy a solid and encouraging policy framework for the SME sector. SMEs business model can be upgraded to ensure we have a competitive industry both in the country and in the region, or even globally. Skill gaps need to be closed, entrepreneurship needs to be educated and encourage a lot of women into the SME sector. It is a difficult time, a challenging moment, but a good opportunity to redefine the future landscape of the SME sector in Sri Lanka.”
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