COLOMBO, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday instructed a presidential task force on economic activities in Colombo to look at the possibility of attracting more foreign investors as the country prepares to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to invest in a mega China-funded Port City in the capital Colombo and an industrial zone in Hambantota in the south, the president's office said President Rajapaksa entrusted ministry secretaries with the responsibility of identifying opportunities of investments instead of seeking foreign loans.
President Rajapaksa also said he was optimistic that the economy which was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic could be re-built and stressed in re-building the tourism sector which was one of the worst affected by the ravaging virus.
"The president was of the view that new opportunities are now open to attract tourists from countries where the COVID-19 virus has subdued. Medical tourism can be promoted by highlighting the capabilities of an indigenous medical system which was used for the treatment of the virus-infected people," the statement said.
"In order to encourage high-spending tourists, visas must be issued to them supplemented by an internationally recognized certificate."
The president highlighted the possibility of strengthening tourism by attracting long term travelers, the statement added. Members of the Task Force were also told to promote domestic tourism so that the local hotel industry could be saved from collapse.
Sri Lanka has been under a curfew imposed in several districts since March 24 to prevent a further spread of the pandemic which has so far infected 797 people and caused nine deaths. Enditem