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* Sri Lanka to become an upper middle income country by 2015
Thu, Nov 8, 2012, 01:03 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka will become an upper middle income country with a per capita income of US$ 4,000 by 2015, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabral says.

Sri Lanka's current per capita income is expected to reach US$ 3,000 by the year's end and to reach over US$ 3,975 by 2015 to be eligible to be classified as an upper middle income country, the Governor explained.

Participating in a program at the state-run radio SLBC, Cabraal further noted that 103 countries in the world have so far exceeded a per capita income of US$ 4,000.

The country is on the right track with single-digit inflation and a positive economic growth of 7 percent, he highlighted while pointing out that other countries record a growth rate of only one or two percent.

According to the Central Bank Chief, the unemployment ratio has come down to 4 percent and the foreign reserves have also been elevated to the highest level in the history of the country. The attempts to restrict the budget deficit to 6.2 percent of GDP have been successful, he noted.

All these positive progress has enabled Sri Lanka to move into the next stage of World Bank country groups by 2015, he assured.

Cabraal added that Sri Lanka's export sector is undergoing a process of diversification and also Sri Lanka has a future plan based on nationality inherent to the country. Therefore, the country is now able to obtain the assistance for the plan, while dealing with the international Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The Central Bank Governor also told the radio program that there are currently more opportunities for small and medium scale entrepreneurs to obtain the necessary knowledge and to gain access to the market and the capital.

Commenting on the private sector retirement fund, Employees Provident Fund, the Governor said the Central Bank has been maintaining the EPF for the past 50 years and assured that it remains 100 percent secure.

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