(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that an Economic Commission will be formed as early as possible to get speedy approval for investments in order to provide more opportunities to local and foreign investors.
The President said more investment opportunities are necessary for Sri Lanka to embark on a new economic path and the new Economic Commission has the potential to significantly boost the country’s economy.
Pointing out that it is a problem for investors that it takes a long time to get approval for their business activities after they come to Sri Lanka, the President said the country is losing a lot of income due to this.
The President noted that in Sri Lanka, it takes ten years to approve a firm after an investor arrives and this situation should be changed.
The President said that plans are being made to replace the Board of Investment and the Export Development Board by appointing an Economic Commission and giving approval for investments by one agency.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks today at the opening of the country’s first migratory bird park and eco-tourism zone in Hanthane, Kandy (20).
President Wickremesinghe further said:
I remembered another bird park when I arrived here. President J.R. Jayewardene established the parliament on the bird park that was constructed during the reign of King Parakramabahu VI. There are now various types of birds, as well as crows.
Mr. Kottegoda spoke about the 20 years of hardship that went into building this bird park. However, Mr. Kottegoda has bestowed the country an International Bird Park today. According to him, this international practice was inspired by Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park. Singapore’s Jurong City was created as an investment zone.
More investment opportunities are necessary for Sri Lanka to embark on a new economic path. It takes ten years to approve a firm after an investor arrives in Sri Lanka. This situation should be changed. Production, export economy and technical sectors should be developed under a new economic plan. More chances for domestic and international investment should be provided for that.
The economy won’t grow if it takes a foreign investor ten years to arrive and begin investing in Sri Lanka. President J.R. Jayawardena passed the Greater Colombo Economic Plan in a short period of three months and Sri Lanka got its economic benefits. President Premadasa approved the 200 garment industries program in three weeks. In this way, if the investment opportunities are not increased, it is not possible to strengthen the economy of Sri Lanka.
Instead of the Board of Investment and the Board of Exports, we should appoint an Economic Commission and come to a system of giving approval for investments through one agency. Minister Dilum Amunugama has been assigned to arrange that. The report will be available within the next two to three weeks. Accordingly, we hope to implement it in the future. I would like to thank you for donating this bird park to the nation by providing value to the tourists.
Chairman of the Migratory Bird Park and Ecotourism Zone Mr. Nishantha Kottegoda said:
There is also a unit to treat and release injured birds in the park, which consists of birds native to foreign countries, migratory birds, etc. The park also has a unit for breeding and exporting exotic birds, an educational and recreational centre for school students and a study of natural birds.
This project was started under the “Yali Pubudamu Sri Lanka” program. The first phase could be completed this year amid various obstacles from the government officials. To move this project forward, the government officials asked for a super luxury bus that could run in Colombo as a bribe. This project had to be stopped many years ago because it could not be provided. Anyway, we have been able to declare open the first phase today.
Adjacent to the Hantane Tea Museum premises, this 27-acre exotic bird park and eco-tourism zone is home to over a hundred species of migratory birds.
Established at a cost of Rs. 490 million, exotic birds are housed in large cages and the animals are cared for by a group of nearly one hundred workers.
This park has been established based on a study of birds that are not native to Sri Lanka for a period of 40 years. It is also special that many exotic birds can be bred in this country.
In the first phase of the Bird Park and eco-tourism zone, facilities for local and foreign tourists to see migratory birds, an educational training center for zoology students, a bird orphanage, a bird home and a quarantine unit has been established.
State Ministers Dilum Amunugama, Lohan Ratwatte, Anuradha Jayaratne, Member of Parliament Nalaka Kottegoda, President’s Senior Advisor on National Security and President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Central Province Governor Lalith U. Gamage, Chairman of the Migratory Bird Park and Ecotourism Zone Mr. Nishantha Kottegoda and other officials participated in this event.