2.4 Foreign / Local New Investment Policy
We will be a private, public and community investment friendly movement. We encourage creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation not only in the private sector but also in all sectors of the society. However, we believe that resources should be utilized not just only for private profits of the few but for the needs of everybody in the society. Therefore, all our policy positions are directed towards the goal “People before Profits”. What this means is our economic planning will be geared not only for conventional profit maximisation, but for shared value maximization and promotion of the social well-being of all strata of society.
We will boost democratization of capital ownership by encouraging public listing of companies, equity ownership by the management and employees, multi-stakeholder participation in corporate management and community ownership of SMEs. If elected to government, we will ensure companies will adhere to paying a fair wage and provide appropriate working conditions for their workers as set out by the industrial relations system.
We will welcome foreign & local investment with enthusiasm on the proviso that those investments do not threaten the sovereignty of the country.
If elected, we will provide incentives such as temporary tax breaks to foreign companies and brand-new local companies where appropriate. The corporate tax rate will not be brought down to attract investment.
Similarly, we could consider lump-sum depreciation for new plant and equipment that companies buy to initiate and expand business opportunities.
However, private investment companies should agree to comply with the government’s overarching policy of business not being able to close off or sold out or to make an initial public offer, without first offering the business to the employees to run as a worker cooperative, if they choose to do so.
If elected, we will adopt a policy that by a certain date all government fleet cars will be purchased from a car manufacturing company or assembling plant established in Sri Lanka. In Australia, for a car manufacturing company to survive at break even point, it had to produce at least 80,000 vehicles annually. In Sri Lanka the breakeven point will be less due to lower variable costs, however about 40,000 cars are registered there annually.
If a study that will be undertaken indicates a car manufacturing industry can surpass the breakeven point, manufacturing companies may compete to move into Sri Lanka for vehicle production. Based on the recommendations of a study emphasising on electric vehicle production, vehicle manufacturers will be encouraged to locally start plants manufacturing or assembling electric vehicles; similarly, vehicle owners and drivers will be given incentives to buy electric vehicles. This strategy could also be employed for other products.
We would also promote conducting secretarial work in Sri Lanka for small business/professional operators in the first world countries. For example, professionals like lawyers and doctors in USA or Australia could send their dictation files electronically to Sri Lanka where those can be typed and sent back overnight.