Sri Lanka on Tuesday expressed confidence to reap post-war peace dividend in the next couple of years and grow at 8.5% in 2011 and follow it up with a 9% growth in 2012.
Presenting the financial roadmap for this year, Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said the challenge would be to maintain inflation at around mid-single digit levels in the short and medium term and the Bank will continue to monitor monetary and economic developments closely and respond appropriately.
In his presentation titled, 'Road Map Monetary and Financial Sector Policies for 2011 and Beyond', Cabraal predicted an 8.5% growth for 2011 rising to 9.5% by 2013.
The Central Bank said that there were two major aims in the process of development: firstly, double the country's per capita income to $4000 by 2010 and brand Sri Lankan the 'Wonder of Asia'.
According to the information department, Cabraal added that the gross foreign exchange reserves reached $6.6 billion by the end of 2010, and the country's external outlook had improved with higher export and tourism earnings and inflows from foreign direct investment and lending institutions.
The Central Bank expected to increase collaboration with foreign financial institutions in 2011.
"Since there is an increasing presence of international banks in Sri Lanka and local bank branches outside Sri Lanka, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with home regulators of foreign banks and host regulators of local banks in the Asian region, will be developed by end 2012," the roadmap said.
A new series of currency notes with the theme of development, prosperity and Sri Lankan dancers will be launched, the roadmap said, adding that awareness programmes on the security features of new currency notes will be conducted to combat counterfeiting Under the Clean Notes Policy a country-wide programme to educate the public on the proper handling of currency will be conducted, while soiled notes will be removed from circulation.