Sri Lanka, a test bed for eco­nomic ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, says Amunugama

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - LATE CITY -

Sri Lanka can be con­sid­ered as a test bed for eco­nomic ex­per­i­men­ta­tion in the cur­rent volatile global econ­omy since the coun­try’s past eco­nomic de­ci­sions hadn’t yielded the ex­pected re­sults, Spe­cial Projects Min­is­ter Dr. Sarath Amunugama said yes­ter­day.

“The time has come, when there is go­ing to be a trans­for­ma­tion in the global econ­omy and most changes will be at the ex­pense of fast­grow­ing economies in Asia, and Sri Lanka I think is go­ing to be a very im­por­tant fo­cus for study,” he said.

Dr. Amunugama was speak­ing at the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the ‘In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Hu­man Cap­i­tal, Food Se­cu­rity and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment in South Asia’, or­gan­ised by the In­sti­tute of Pol­icy Stud­ies, Monash Univer­sity’s Cen­tre for De­vel­op­ment Eco­nomics and Sus­tain­abil­ity (SDES) and South Asia Re­search Net­work.

SDES Di­rec­tor Pro­fes­sor Sisira Jaya­suriya too noted that South Asia could be an im­por­tant re­gion for academia to ob­serve.

“Prac­ti­cally every de­vel­op­ment prob­lem can be stud­ied in this re­gion,” he said.

Dr. Amunugama said that Sri Lanka needs to ques­tion its tra­di­tional ap­proach to eco­nomics, which had been to de­velop through ser­vices, tourism and for­eign re­mit­tances and fol­low an in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion ap­proach, which Chi­nese Prime Min­is­ter Li Ke­qiang had ad­vised Prime Min­is­ter Ranil Wick­remesinghe to fol­low.

Wick­remesinghe had called for an in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion ap­proach dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Maithri­pala Sirisena over two years ago, when the gov­ern­ment was sup­port­ing a West­ern-ori­ented de­vel­op­ment pol­icy, which has so far not been suc­cess­ful.

“Li Ke­qiang is a new thinker. You know what he said to us? He said, ‘You’re fol­low­ing this idea of try­ing to have ser­vices, de­pend on tourism, de­pend on for­eign re­mit­tances. But the way we look at it, you should be an in­dus­trial coun­try. You should be a man­u­fac­tur­ing coun­try. We will as­sist you’,” Dr. Amunugama noted.

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