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SL will continue to build necessary infrastructure amidst restrictions: Shavendra

Despite the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sri Lanka has been committed to continuing the building of necessary infrastructure and service facilities for industrial and business advancement, which is a significant prerequisite for external and internal economic partnerships, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva today (08) stated.

General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army was one of the distinguished guest speakers at the ongoing 2nd day (7-9 June) of virtual online sessions at the Sri Lanka Investment Forum (SLIF) on Tuesday (8). He was invited as one of Expert Resource Personnel to speak on the topic ‘Managing the COVID 19 Pandemic, Protecting Life, Livelihood, and Economic Progress’ as the Head, National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) in Sri Lanka. Over 65 countries joined the seminar, themed “Sri Lanka-Asia’s Next Growth Heaven”.

“Sri Lanka’s major development and infrastructure projects were not delayed due to the pandemic, and also, the health and safety of our workers have never been compromised. We have emphasised on safe tourism, giving the guarantee to long-and short-term tourists that Sri Lanka is a safe destination. We are in the process of developing and improving the ‘Bio Secure Bubble’ in tourism, sports, and diplomatic visits. Sri Lanka has proven its competencies in providing a bio secure environment from the port of landing back to the departure. In this aspect, we have readjusted infrastructure, transport, food and beverage and health facilities to provide cutting edge and quality service, ” General Shavendra Silva pointed out.

“Sri Lanka being a centrally situated country in the Indian Ocean understands the value of sea transportation, back-loading operations and re-exports. Also, we value the expectations of friendly foreign countries worldwide and their necessity of providing uninterrupted sea transportation of goods and supplies in which Sri Lanka plays a vital role. This aspect was widely considered from the beginning of the battle against COVID-19. With the valuable inputs of all economic stakeholders’ seaports were continuously in operation amidst the Pandemic. Accordingly, the health safety precautions of the employees at the ports were designed, and we have been very successfully functioning the port operations as of now,” he added.

To maintain economic momentum, the General said that the Sri Lankan strategy has given due focus to preserve the Sri Lankan identity in the international market where plantation and agricultural sectors are functioning under strict health guidelines despite the pandemic. In this regard, he stated that Sri Lanka has given special consideration to agricultural products such as tea and spices.