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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 102

Investors Lack Confidence In Sri Lanka Despite Peace Bid:

[b]Investors Lack Confidence In Sri Lanka Despite Peace Bid: World Bank[/b]

[b]Colombo, 08 February, ([/b] Agreement by Sri Lanka's warring parties to hold their first face-to-face talks in three years will help reconstruction but there would be no significant foreign investment until lasting peace is achieved, Agence France Presse reports a World Bank official said Monday. "We haven't got a security and a peace framework in which people have full confidence at this time," country director Peter Harrold told reporters here. "This is key to poverty reduction over time."

Peace was essential to enable Sri Lanka to raise its level of investments and achieve the eight percent growth target the government had set for itself this year, Harrold said. The eight percent target compared to estimated six percent growth in 2005 and an expansion of 5.4 percent in 2004.

He said the country had maintained an average growth rate of five percent even during the height of fighting between government forces and Tamil Tigers, but real peace was essential to attract serious investments.

"Progress in the peace process is necessary to create a conducive environment for sustainable poverty reduction," he said. "Talks (in Geneva) are very useful to create a climate for reconstruction to go on. Even during the recent times (of unrest) we were able to keep up reconstruction, but it is more difficult for larger players," he said.

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