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'People's dynasty' hindering investment

Sri Lanka’s post-war boom may not be living up to economic expectations, reports Reuters; the island has failed to attract adequate foreign investment and home-grown businesses also not investing, with critics put down to the Rajapakse ‘dynasty’ keeping a tight grip on all economic and industrial institutions.

See here Reuter's full report.

Some extracts:

“The government reported $1 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, a record, but even officials accept that is not enough. More worrying, because it raises questions about the reliability of official data, the United Nations put FDI at just $300 million last year, its lowest level since 2005."

“There are several possible explanations, but critics say that by making Sri Lanka something of a personal fiefdom and dragging his feet on reconciliation between the ethnic minority Tamil-dominated north and the majority Sinhalese Buddhist population, Rajapaksa shoulders some of the blame.”

"One Rajapaksa brother, Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa, justified the system, telling Reuters that politics was a family affair everywhere from the United States to India and pointing out that he and his relatives were elected parliamentarians."

"It is a dynasty, but by people's choice, a people's dynasty," he said in an interview, and suggested that more, rather than less, concentration of decision-making would help investment in a country where multiple permits slow start-ups."

"In other countries who are successful, they were successful because immediately one person he takes the decisions. In Sri Lanka, the main problem is that that is not there, more decisions have to be centralized."

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