Probing insights into International Trade | Daily News

Probing insights into International Trade

Title: Features in International Trade Eco nomics and Geopolitics
Author: Jagath Savanadasa
Publisher: Godage Brothers

This book contains more than 50 insightful essays on the changing face of international Trade, the emerging political landscape and the Economic realignments taking place. The essays are ideal reference material to those who are in related fields besides foreign Embassies, NGO's Chambers of Commerce and other similar bodies.

A wide variety of topics on the spheres mentioned are subject to thoughtful and probing analysis. This is where experience and training besides exposure of a seasoned Trade Promotion official come into play. There is of course no select pattern for this presentation. But this is not to criticize it since, in a book of this nature, it is very difficult to set out a clear order. The essays begin with comments made by the Author at a seminar conducted by the Asian Development Bank some time ago. The author notes that as a Regional Treaty established with the worthy intention of taking South East onto a new plane of cooperation it has failed thus far. However, he has expressed and hoped that it will change for better in the future.

There is the focus in the publication on the long history in this country of traditionally important Tea exports and plantations besides, Desiccated Coconut which too has been for long a traditional source of export revenue besides generating employment in D/C mills in the North Central Province.

The book has an incisive article on the importance of physical connectivity, especially within our region.

Criticised pacts

The book also touches on the importance and more particularly on the relevance of bi-national Trade Pacts, especially the Indo-Lanka Trade Treaty which when first introduced in 1998 was subject to wide criticism. This was on account of asymmetries between the two countries. The Treaty was implemented in 2000 and despite being a tie-up between two countries of unequal size resulted in several positive developments. For example, Sri Lanka found markets for some of her new products and established manufacturing units in India.

Moving on to other topics there is an interesting study on intellectual capital and the new aristocracy in the U.S. It centres on an important new angle of education in the United States. For example how the offspring of professional parents are helped and guided by them to emulate their parents.

Also discussed in this regard are aspects of education of the privileged classes. And the rather partisan role that some Universities play in this regard. It leads to deep social divisions and breeds inequality that is somewhat the antithesis of the `American Dream'.

The book has also a study on what is called the rise and fall of the Asian Tigers. The author has examined this development in East Asia that transformed the economies of certain East Asian countries several years ago. It was also called the Asian Economic Miracle. The first nation to take off on this path which led to unprecedented growth was Japan. She was followed by South Korea, Malaysia and other nations which changed their economies almost completely as a result of their growth.

Trump politics

Under critical developments in geopolitics, is an excellent essay on the U.S. Presidential elections which led to the crisis that confronted President Donald Trump back in 2017. This essay was followed by another study titled "A beleaguered President, but it is not another Watergate". There are interesting case studies on two emerging economic powers in Asia, China and India.

In more recent times China's economic success had been unmatched. Relevant to this is an article titled the Sichuan Diary.

It is based on a personal study conducted by the Author. He records in vivid detail, the stupendous natural resources of a vast Province in China called Chengdu. Also, the manner in which the Province's resources had been exploited, thereby bringing rich rewards to the entire Chinese economy.

Considerable space in this worthy book has been devoted to our big neighbour India. Despite yet persistent poverty, the Indian Gross Domestic Product in recent years had been an impressive 7% or more. One classic presentation about India centres on the writers owns a version of an important panel discussion conducted at the BMICH which was titled "India under Modi". It had several professionals including academics eminent Indian Economists and others making excellent presentations. Yet another essay on India is titled "Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Asia".

Two essays on Nepal too are quite informative about foreign investment potential in that country and also relate to the potential for a Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Nepal.


The final essays in the book deal with the Role of Trade Promotion Organisations for the Economic well being of a country and some well-researched articles on personalities both national and international.

Features in International Trade, Economics and Geopolitics is an excellent and worthwhile book that one should possess. It is written in an easy flowing language for which Jagath Savanadasa, the Author enjoys a wide reputation.

Books on this form of the specialized genre generally have a limited readership largely among those in similar fields or allied organizations. On the other hand, today English publications enjoy no wide sales in this country unlike in other South Asian countries like, to cite a prime example, India. And publishers accordingly limit the number of copies of these books they print. But one learns that this book has sold quite a number of copies.

Reviewed by Dr Rohan Basnayake PhD 

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