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Bond success signifies investor trust - President

The trust that investors have placed in Sri Lanka’s economy is confirmed by the successful international bond issue for US $ 500 million, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at the opening of the MAS Holdings Fabric Park in Thulhiriya yesterday.

President Rajapaksa said: “When for the first time our government went to the international markets and launched a Sri Lankan bond issue for US$ 500 million, it was oversubscribed by over three times the issue on offer, in the face of the many obstacles, attempts at sabotage, false and harmful publicity and attempts to frighten investors.”

He said this confirms the trust and confidence the international financial markets and foreign investors have in the Government’s Ten Year Vision for Development.

“Therefore, I honestly believe that the action of the investors in coming forward, despite some threats of not repaying debts, is a sign of the genuine expectations about the stability of this country and its future development,” he added.

The President said: “We are dedicated to ensure the security of the country, free the people in all areas from terrorism, and build a humane and democratic society. The measures we take to restore life in the East to normality are also an important for necessity for the people of the North. As a Government we are committed to bring the benefits of development projects such as this to the people in the North and East too.”

He pointed out that despite the expenditure for national security and rising fuel costs the Government would not set aside development.

He was of the view that priority had to be given to development in all areas, through local and foreign investments.

The Government’s newly launched food drive and Gama Neguma and Maga Neguma programmes would spur rural development.

He observed that the garment industry was now penetrating the villages, leading to the uplift of rural people. The Garment Industry is the main industry in our country. We obtain export earnings of US $ 3,000 million from it. In all, this industry provides direct and indirect employment to nearly one million people.

“Through the Mahinda Chinthana Ten Year Vision we have identified the need to have economic growth exceeding eight per cent. For this purpose we have undertaken the major task of providing the necessary infrastructure development, national security and economic stability.

“We are also giving priority to taking to the underdeveloped rural areas the economic development that is at present confined to Colombo and environs,” he added.

He stressed that the Government has been able to reach a 7 per cent economic growth. This is the highest rate of growth our country has seen since 1978.

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