Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lanka, a test bed for economic experimentation, says Amunugama
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.