Soros sows hope of fresh start

The world economy is very hostile and Sri Lanka is faced with an uphill task to swim upstream, international economist and investor George Soros said.

He said that in addition to several unsolved problems in Sri Lanka, the imbalances in the world economy too will create problems for the forward march of Sri Lanka.

"A falling Chinese currency is de-stabilizing the world, and the country is trying to transfer its problems to the rest of the world,"Soros said at the inaugural session of the Sri Lanka Economic Forum held yesterday.

The exchange rate is now dropping and it is de-stabilizing the rest of the world. China is now inflicting on the rest of the world this deflationary pressure.

He said that people in several counties have a lot of disposable income but they adopt a wait and see policy until prices come down. "However back in Sri Lanka people think otherwise which has led to low savings."

Speaking on the opening day of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016 in Colombo yesterday Soros said that he was impressed with this government and what they have achievement in a short period of time since elections.

He said that this enticed them assist Sri Lanka and his team is in Sri Lanka and are looking at investment opportunities.

"In addition to my people connected to the Open Society Foundation, my investment person is also in Sri Lanka to look for opportunities. Sri Lanka must have lower expectations which will help to improve the country performance."

He identified tourism as a major growth area and said that most of the popular destinations are facing political crises. "Sri Lanka is a bright spot and I think there is great opportunity in tourism. However entrepreneurs would have to strive hard to reap benefits in this segment too."

An initiative of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the event is being organized and sponsored by George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations. Over 300 invitees that include cream of the business society of Sri Lanka, senior members of the chambers, public sector and parliamentarians are attending the event.

08th Jan 2016