(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – President Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that the country needs a national policy that does not change with every government that comes to power and invited everyone to commit to building the country on one national policy without party differences.
The President pointed out that to build a developed economy and raise Sri Lanka to the pinnacle of the world, a solid economic policy as well as political stability is a must. Hence, he invited everyone to join hands to discuss the national policy framework using the “Jathika Sabhawa” (National Council) as a platform.
President Wickremesinghe stated this while declaring open the first life-saving pharmaceutical manufacturing plant established by Yaden Laboratories in Sri Lanka yesterday (10).
The President also pointed out that he is working towards establishing a national policy to prepare an export economy using competitive and modern technology.
Expressing his views further, the President congratulated the Chairman of the company. “He is a farsighted individual. He had a good understanding of the drug shortage the country is facing. He also understood that the local market is insufficient. Therefore, this company has taken steps to develop our export industry, not only to supply medicines needed domestically but also by producing medicines needed internationally.”
President expressed hope that the project commenced by the young entrepreneur will progress to greater heights. “This project has created great employment opportunities for many. This investment has been done at a time when the country’s economy is facing its hardest period. Our budget deficit is one factor that has contributed to the collapse of our economy,” he said.
The President pointed out that the foreign exchange country receives is not sufficient to meet its needs and have to obtain loans every year.
“Currently, we are in a situation where we are unable to pay the debt. Our economy must be rebuilt. If we are to succeed we must remember one thing. We must earn the required foreign exchange. A deficit of foreign exchange cannot be maintained. It is not possible to maintain a budget deficit. Our aim should be to keep the surplus of the expenditure head. For this, we need to increase our foreign income.”
“For that purpose, the goods produced for export, the crops grown and the services provided should be increased. We need an export-oriented economy that uses the most competitive technology,” he said.
“Today people are facing grave difficulties. Many have lost their jobs. Some have to skip meals and be in hunger. We need to find long-term solutions to address these issues. It is not possible to go back and find solutions. That is why plans are being made today to create a very competitive, modern technology-based export economy. That is why we should make policies.”
The President remarked that the plant that is declared open today was initiated when Maithripala Sirisena was the President and he was the Prime Minister. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne was the Health Minister at that time. “All of us contributed to taking this forward,” he added.
“This is one result of the initiatives taken by the Good Governance regime. We worked in silence. Then the government changed and a new government was elected. After Gotabaya Rajapaksa came to power this program was not halted,” the President pointed out.
“Generally, when one government loses power and another one comes to power, the work done by the previous government is halted. However, this project was not stopped and now I am declaring this establishment open as the President.”
“We should all follow one national policy. We can engage in our daily debates. However, we need to make one national policy. If we continue with that national policy, we will never fail. We made the mistake of changing policies with every change of government. Even when the ministers changed within the government, the policies were changed. So how can you expect the country to prosper?”
“We must have a good economic framework. There should be a good social framework as well as a political framework,” the President stressed.
“Our economic framework depends on the stability of the political framework. If a stable political system cannot be established, the people of the country will suffer.”
“Today, all the parties are represented here, except the JVP. Therefore, I would like to invite everyone to work according to a national framework. Then, whether or not governments change, will not become an issue. That is why several committees have been created so that everyone in parliament can engage.”
“We created the ‘Jathika Sabha’ (National council) and I would like to make it a stage to discuss the establishment of a national policy and to implement it.”
“Today the stage has been set to earn foreign exchange through this new venture. Just as this project that was commenced in 2017 could have been brought forward, I am confident that we can all unite and agree on one policy. Let us make it a reality,” the President emphasized.
Speaking at the event Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella recalled that Professor Senaka Bibile’s policy was to export pharmaceutical products and that is what the Yaden Laboratories (PVT) LTD is doing now.
“During the COVID pandemic, the country strongly felt the need for medicines. Today Yaden Laboratories (PVT) LTD has come forward as a pharmaceutical exporting company to which we should extend our fullest cooperation. We will extend our fullest support to the Yaden Institute to make its mark in the international sphere. We should extend a supportive hand to these young entrepreneurs who can bring in the foreign currency that the country requires today. This will also help retain the much needed foreign exchange within the country as well.”
Shashimal Dissanayake, Chairman of Yaden Laboratories Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company said the Yaden Company has come a long way in the past ten years.
He said this pharmaceutical laboratory has created history in Sri Lanka today.
“This laboratory was started in 2012 by two people. Today, our laboratory can produce 100% high-quality medicines. Currently, there are 110 laboratory staff and 20 technicians working here. Our laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.”
“This laboratory has been established with the primary objective of providing medicines needed by Sri Lankans. Accordingly, there is an opportunity to save a lot of the country’s money that would otherwise be spent on importing drugs.”
President Ranil Wickremesinghe also made a note in the guest book of Yaden Institute. Former President Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Ports and Shipping Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Plantation Industries Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayake, Senior Advisor to the President Ruwan Wijewardane, State Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Members of Parliament Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Duminda Dissanayake, Mayantha Dissanayake, Sujith Sanjaya, Harshana Rajakaruna, Nimal Lanza, J.C Alawathuwala, Eran Wickramaratne, and Chief of Defense Staff General Shavendra Silva were present at this occasion.