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Expect access to EU market by April – May – Prime Minister

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Sri Lanka will be able to access the European Market by April –May with the restoration of the GSP + concession, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

He addressing a religious event in Galle said that with the re-entrance to the European Market worth USD 500 billion, Sri Lanka would claim for a huge development.

President Maithripala Sirisena as the then Common Candidate at the Presidential Election in 2015 pledged to regain the GSP+ concession. “We cannot even think about the one million employment program without access to the EU market”, he said.

He said that President Sirisena and he during the past two years and at the final discussions held in Brussels they promised to restore the GSP+ concession if Sri Lanka works under the democratic frame.

Now most of the work undertaken by the government is over. I have only one more task to complete that is to call the businessman of the country and request them to open new factories generating employment. Some of the businessmen have said that they don’t have zones to open factories.

The government is establishing a zone in the 350 acre Charlimount estate and already a company has been identified which the government is owned Lanka Industrial Development Limited. They are already working on the first private owned Industrial zone in Sapugaskanda.

Lanka Industrial Development Limited together with an Indian company will establish a new company to work on the Charlimount estate zone.

They will get another 700 acres from Ingiriya and establish an industrial zone. In addition they will also establish zones in Kalutara and Hambantota too.

The next challenge is training the youth for jobs. I have entrusted the ministers in charge of the relevant subjects as well as the MPs to develop the training institutes. Lives will not improve if there are no factories.

We want to encourage high end tourists and for that we will allocate the lands from Bentara to Galle for high end tourism projects and will do it together with the redevelopment of Galle, Dedduwa and Akurala.

The government also wants to develop the Small and Medium scale entrepreneurs who are engaged in the tourism industry as well as the tour guides and performers to ensure that they have a steady income in the future.

Now the fastest developing area is the south. We have two airports in Katunayaka and Mattala and two ports in Colombo and Hambantota and we should ensure that we take maximum use of it.

In addition to trade zones and developing of the tourism industry we will also ensure that we bring in IT to this area. We will never forget Galle as people of Galle supported us during the most difficult times said the premier.

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