Exports and FDI poised for growth - OBG | Daily News

Exports and FDI poised for growth - OBG

Sri Lanka’s plans to transition into a high-income, knowledge-based economy through ambitious fiscal reforms, new trade deals and added-value exports are explored in a new report from the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Sri Lanka 2018 tracks growth in the tradable sector as the country targets $20bn in export earnings by 2020, boosted by the reinstatement of EU GSP+ status which helped to improve performances in key segments such as textiles and clothing last year. While shining a spotlight on Vision 2025, the country’s blueprint for economic development, OBG’s publication also explores Sri Lanka’s efforts to reform the tax code and rationalise expenditure following its $1.5bn deal with the IMF.

Buoyed by a combination of changing demographics and a pipeline of mega-projects, the construction industry has rallied after a slowdown in 2015 to notch up double-digit growth, despite rising input costs.

The Report: Sri Lanka 2018 considers the key role that international partners are playing in galvanising the sector, while also examining the positive effect that proposed reforms could have on further boosting foreign interest in local property.

Sri Lanka’s rapidly growing tourism offering is another focus.

OBG analyses the country’s plans to tap new markets and strengthen air routes, in line with its target of increasing visitor numbers to 4.5m by 2020. Plans to modernise its important agricultural industries and improve productivity through investment in technology are also examined, alongside the steps being taken to improve the digital innovation ecosystem and nurture high-value startups.

The Report: Sri Lanka 2018 contains contributions from President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, together with a detailed sector-by-sector guide for investors and the business community.Commenting after the launch, Oliver Cornock, OBG’s editor-in-chief, said that positive developments documented in the new report included a new free trade agreement (FTA) with Sinagpore and a proposed FTA with China that could enable Sri Lanka to capitalise on its strategic location and support a new phase of economic progress.

“Buoyed by a period of extensive post-war reconstruction and a diverse range of crop exports, Sri Lanka averaged growth of over 6% between 2008 and 2014,” he said.

Patrick Cooke, OBG’s regional editor for Asia, added that Sri Lanka’s impressive growth story, rising domestic demand and the implementation of pro-growth structural reforms had all helped to improve the investment climate last year, while plans to facilitate more public-private partnerships were expected to generate further international interest. 


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Rain Havoc in the country Once again the country is facing severe hardship as rains continue. In the past few years the difficulties faced by the people are progressively aggravated. The basic problem is that monsoonal rains don’t last long but the suffering of the people and loss to the economy is heavy and easily forgotten as sun shine comes. With the economy facing the toll of mismanagement and political indecision as ever before all people suffer at different level. The government finds refuge in blaming the inclement weather or the previous regine instead of actioning viable programs.. Many of the officials have time and again participated in international forums sponsored by international agencies or paid by the state. These meetings have had very little impact because the participants merely used the opportunity to trot around the globe. Transfer of technology has been absent and funding unutilized. The experiences gained by countries such as Holland, Sweden and France in the systems of Water Management provide examples for emulation. The various conferences in Rio de Janeiro and the Paris Convention on environment have addressed the subject of environment protection extensively, even these recommenations have failed to make a lasting impact. Global warming is a result of the consequences of the neglect of the environment and emissions of toxic waste by the industrial world. Nevertheless small countries like Sri Lanka are charged to reduce pollution whilst the powerful nations expel the gases. They also attempt to pay us to carry on their polluting offering incentives by means of carbon credits etc. Nevertheless we cannot ignore the call to cut pollution and must therefore act to keep our environment clean with an organized efficient system of garbage collection and disposal void of politics and interference by unscrupulous elements who orchestrate problems to amass fortune at the expense of the people. “Dog eating Dog” Policy! As advancement in technology occurs, mitigating the impact on the environment becomes an essential need. Pollution control systems should also include a program to clean stagnant canals and waterways of debris, methane and weeds and dregging to permit smooth water flow to achieve a greening effect supported by an efficient system for storm water control, harvesting discharging and storage for use during period of drought or cultivation including a program for development and application of renewable energy to replace utilization of Fossil fuel in running of industry. The overall system must also provide an efficient city traffic management program and utilization of railways and waterways for movement of goods during off peak hours to ease road congestion. Create toll gates to control vehicle entry into the cities whilst raising funds for municipalities. The cooperation of all Citizens is therefore vital in achieving a sustainable environment which otherwise remains a pipe dream imposing greater hardship in the years to come. Compartmentalized planning also becomes a failure unless a Master plan is prepared by experts in the field. Sri Lanka has such experts who are probably not consulted whilst political interference pervades such approach. This however calls for immediate concentrated action under the guidance of an independent National Committee of professionals. We surely do not need a referendum to achieve this important National milestone as recently espoused by a selfish misdirected group, only a STRONG POLITICAL WILL.


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