“We have to expand our connections with the countries from which the well-spending tourists are coming. We have to liberalise access to sea and air services. Therefore action will be taken to develop air access domestically and internationally, while facilitating cruise services and the establishment of yacht marinas,” he said.The Prime Minister said that the government wants to transform Sri Lanka into the hub of the Indian Ocean, safeguarded by a knowledge-based, highly competitive, social market economy. Our ambition is to make Sri Lanka a prosperous country by 2025.“For this vision to become a reality, our activities should join hands with the external world. Sri Lanka is a small island right in the middle of a large world. For thousands of years we have benefitted from being located strategically. Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten this competitive advantage of the location. Our vision is to reclaim that mantle of international connectivity. In here, we have to leave behind the decades of inward-looking policies that shrouded our capacity to grow,” he said. (Colombo Gazette) He said that people living in developed and developing East Asian and South East Asian countries such as China and Thailand have better jobs and higher living standards than the average Sri Lankans. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe told Parliament today that the effort of the Government is to create an economy firmly based on foreign and domestic private investment, driven by a dynamic and forward – looking private sector.Wickremesinghe also noted the importance of trade ties with China and India. “We are making great progress towards mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreements with Singapore, China, and India. These deals will give our economy a massive boost by opening huge new markets to our entrepreneurs,” he said.He also said that China and India are Sri lanka’s biggest and most rapidly expanding markets and so Sri Lanka must shift its tourism strategies accordingly. Download (DOC, 54KB) Wickremesinghe said that a key part of Sri Lanka’s economic policy will be entering into Free Trade Agreements with partner countries around the world.