Thursday, October 8, 2015

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Ranil for high growth South Asia region

Ranil for high growth South Asia region          
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has mooted the idea of creating a “High Growth South Asia Region” to tackle the scenario of low economic growth globally.   
The establishment of the proposed region, which would facilitate realise economic potential and bring higher living standards of peoples of constituent-countries of the region, would also have a “positive impact” on the medium term global economic growth.
The Prime Minister was addressing the National Diet of Japan in Tokyo on Tuesday during his four-day-long visit, which concluded on Wednesday.
Pointing out that the global economy was recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, he said two major economic developments– the normalisation of the United States’ monetary policy and “slow transformation” of China’s economy to one of relying on consumption - would determine the fate of medium term global growth.

Recalling that Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde had described the prospects of the medium term global growth as “the new mediocre,” Mr Wickremesinghe, who was the third world leader to address the Parliament of Japan after Barrack Obama and Narendra Modi, said the national government in Sri Lanka was “providing stability for economic restructuring which is expected to lead to a high rate of growth.” The participation of Japan in south Asian economic development would add momentum to enable higher growth rates in the region. “This requires multiple options to be pursued - including Japanese connectivity to India through Sri Lanka.”
Reiterating his call for a partnership between Japan and south Asian countries for the application of Japanese science and technology, he said “we have to make this happen – not only will it profit south Asia but it will benefit Japan too, giving her a lead role in shaping the south Asian economy.”
Explaining the rationale behind his idea, he said south Asia now had a population of 1.6 billion with the gross domestic product of $ 2.6 trillion. Its population would go up to 2 billion by 2050, making it larger than east Asia.

He also spoke of his government’s plans for signing Indo-Lanka Economic and Technology Collaboration Partnership and free trade agreements with Pakistan and Bangladesh besides Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, member-countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) bordering the Bay of Bengal.

“We are preparing ourselves for an Asia Pacific based on the Trans Pacific Partnership. Sri Lanka will also negotiate with the EU for GSP+ concessions and with China for a Free Trade Agreement,” the Prime Minister added.

According to a report hosted on the website of the Sri Lankan government’s Information Department, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged a loan of ¥45 billion to develop further the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.



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