President Ranil Wickremesighe has launched locally assembled Hyundai vehicle with Sri Lanka’s Abans group, as the country is gripped by an import ban on finished cars after the central bank printed money to fix a policy rate and triggered an external collapse.
“The introduction of this vehicle takes place at a time when Sri Lanka’s economy collapsed,” President Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying at a the launch of the domestically assembled Hyundai Grand i10 car.
“But the initiation was taken with the belief that the economy of the country would recover and I would again extend my heartiest thanks to you all for it.”
In Sri Lanka finished cars are taxed at rates close to 200 percent and has served as way to tax people with higher levels of income.
However in recent years some firms have set up assembly plants bringing parts (completely knocked down) at a lower tax rate.
However vehicle ownership bring more taxes to the government with fuel use and can also boost economic activity by increasing mobility in a country with a highly regulated public transport.
The Hyundai assembly plant is located in Seeduwa.
“Assembling the Hyundai Grand i10 in Sri Lanka is a tribute to the firm determination of [Abans Chairperson] Mrs. Pestanjee,” President Wickremesinghe has said.
“I know how she initiated this journey when the economy was opened up in 1977.
“I still remember that there was an Abans Showroom on the fifth lane heading towards Galle Road. Thank you very much for having come this far from that point.”
“I hope that this step will be a good start for the arrival of other investors to Sri Lanka based on the cooperation between South Korea and Sri Lanka as well as the higher investment made by Korea here.
“Today, the Hyundai Grand i10 vehicle is introduced to the Sri Lankan market further confirming the trust placed in our country.”