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* FTZ manufacturers warn Sri Lanka will become uncompetitive and undesirable for future investors if political crisis continues
Fri, Nov 30, 2018, 01:22 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Free Trade Zone employees warning that the country will become uncompetitive and undesirable for future investors, have urged all in authority to end the political crisis that has been dragged into a second month.

Expressing concern that Sri Lanka will lose future orders for products and also the GSP+ for exports, the Free Trade Zone Manufacturers' Association (FTZMA) urged the political leaders to put the country first.

"We are extremely disturbed and disappointed with the behavior of all political parties concerned in not reaching a consensus to this political flux. It is important and urgent that all political leaders at loggerheads put the country first rather than their personal agendas, the Free Trade Zone Manufacturers' Association (FTZMA) said in a statement.

Following is the full statement:

We are one of the largest manufacturing associations representing Katunayake, the largest free trade zone in the country. The zone employs roughly 45,000 workers and has over 52+ organizations which operate over 80 plants within the zone. The membership is made up of mainly large multinational companies with principals from the US, UK, EU and other countries.

Since the crisis started on the 26th of November, we have had many concerned inquiries from our customers and other stakeholders both local and international regarding the present political situation in the country. The image portrayed especially in the west has been extremely negative both in the print as well as digital media. Being one of the oldest democracies in the world this has been debilitating and shameful especially some of the recent incidents that took place in Parliament. This has had implications for most of the future order books of our members as well as the potential of losing GSP+ for exports to the EU.

While it is important to preserve the sovereignty of our country, we must also accept the fact that we are operating on a global platform which is highly interconnected and transparent to our end customers and consumers. Upholding the Constitution, Law & Order, Consistent policy making, and political & economic stability are key to growing our businesses and attracting further FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). We are extremely disturbed and disappointed with the behavior of all political parties concerned in not reaching a consensus to this political flux. It is important and urgent that all political leaders at loggerhead put the country first rather than their personal agendas.

Sri Lanka will become uncompetitive and undesirable in the eyes of present and future investors which ultimately affects all constituents of this beautiful and resourceful nation. We therefore urge all in authority to put an end to this political anticlimax and work with and support the private sector to further develop our country.

 

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