Urgent steps vital to improve ranking - Central Bank Chief | Sunday Observer
Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurship status:

Urgent steps vital to improve ranking - Central Bank Chief

28 May, 2023
CBSL Governor  Dr. Weerasinghe-ILO’s Simrin  Singh
CBSL Governor Dr. Weerasinghe-ILO’s Simrin Singh

Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurship ranking is very low, around 101 of 110 and urgent steps are needed to improve this ranking, Governor Central Bank Dr. P. Nandalal Weerasinghe told the ILO National Policy Symposium at the Taj Samudra on Thursday.

He said that one reason for the lower entrepreneurship ranking is the limited number of female entrepreneurs. “Most females are reluctant to get involved in their own business and prefer to get a public sector job.”

“However, the public sector is already ‘too crowded’ and it is a huge burden for the taxpayer and the Government is exploring the possibility of shrinking it. Hence seeking employment in the public sector would be difficult in the future.

“We know that credit and collateral is an issue when starting a business and to overcome this, the Central Bank has a low interest loan scheme and youth should take advantage of this,” he said.

The Governor said, “Females have a tendency to borrow more from informal channels and due to this they fall into ‘trouble’”

He recalled that during his youth he opted to carry on his father’s business in the South but had no option but to join the public sector due to hardships the private sector faced during the Southern insurrection where doing business was near impossible.”

He also said that Sri Lanka’s inflation rate will come down to a single digit before the end of the year while Sri Lanka rupee too would be even stronger. “Along with interest rates coming down and the further relaxation of imports, youth will have a better economic fabric to do business.”

The event was organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with the Central Bank, the Office of the Governor of the Northern Province, and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. (CCC)

Chief Economist of CCC, Shiran Fernanado said, “This timely national policy symposium comes as a much-needed intervention within the context of Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.

“By promoting investments and entrepreneurship, it aims to revitalise the economy and create sustainable growth opportunities. The symposium’s main message revolves around the significance of fostering an entrepreneurial culture, creating an enabling environment for investment promotion, and driving economic development at both the regional and national levels.”

Director, ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Simrin Singh said, “The symposium comes at a crucial time where Sri Lanka is exploring pathways to accelerate economic growth. For the country to move towards a job-rich and inclusive recovery, creating an enabling environment for investments at the regional and provincial level, taking into account area-specific challenges and opportunities, as well as promoting entrepreneurship is critical,” said.