President Maithripala Sirisena says he decided to establish National Economic Council to strengthen the national economy by formalizing the economic management in the country.
He said the objectives of NEC are to increase the export income and develop the local industry. He pointed out there is a need for a stronger program for the development of the agriculture. “The National Economic Council aims at fulfilling the government’s responsibility for the development of industries”, he said.
The President was speaking at the annual Planning Award Ceremony of Ceylon National Chamber of Industries, held today (Aug. 17) at Galadari Hotel in Colombo.
He stated that the National Economic Council was established after the discussions with the representatives of World Bank, International Monetary Fund, local and international economic specialists and also Sri Lankan specialists, working abroad.
The President requested the support from everybody for the smooth operation of the National Economic Council.
President Sirisena emphasized that the government will not sign any free trade agreement which will bring injustice or challenge to the local industries and entrepreneurs.
He said some groups that are not related to the business sector are making the business community scared by giving them false information. “The government is getting into the free trade agreements with foreign countries only by protecting local industries,” he said.
The President pointed out that the state patronage for the development of local industries was not sufficiently done in the past. He said the government will implement a new program within next few months to encourage and guide small and medium scale entrepreneurs.
This award ceremony was organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce for the 16th time. The awards were conferred 16 micro, small, medium and large business institutions, under five categories.
Litro Gas, livestock and mineral oil industries received the awards for state sector industries.
Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero and the Chairman of Ceylon National Chamber of Industries Thissa Seneviratne were among those participated in this ceremony.