Meeting the challenges of Sri Lanka’s demographic changes

Published : 1:01 am  July 16, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,579 views  |  

Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2013 explores how the country’s skills gap can be bridged in the face of an aging demographic profileBy Cassandra Mascarenhas The focus on health and education in the past has led to an improvement in Sri Lanka’s social indicators to the levels of emerging economies, including reduction in birth rate and increase in life expectancy. Coupled with change in lifestyles has made Sri Lanka a country with one of the fastest aging demographic profiles, specifically for a developing country, leading to a decline in the proportion of persons in the employable age. The size of the labour force will be further constrained by the high level of migration from Sri Lanka.  The... 


Panel discussion

Published : 1:00 am  July 16, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  323 views  |  

In addition to de Silva and Arunatilake, the panel discussion that followed the presentations consisted of ILO Country Director Donglin Li, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka Past President Anura Lokuhetty and Consultant Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, and was moderated by Employers Federation of Ceylon Director General Ravi Peiris. Q: One of the matters that came to light was the demographic bonus that we have right now and one of the impediments has been the low female participation rate in Sri Lanka. What are the policy recommendations that you would propose? Gunatilaka: Transport, safety and law and order encourages women to engage in the labour force. There is also gender based discrimination... 


Powering Sri Lanka for the future

Published : 12:59 am  July 16, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  476 views  |  

By Cassandra Mascarenhas A country’s energy sector is the foundation of the modern economy and the dialogue on the energy sector in Sri Lanka centres heavily around waste, inefficiency, corruption and saving energy. The sixth session of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2013 held last week focused on the country’s heavily discussed energy sector. Sri Lanka as an importer of fuel, amounting to 25% of its total import bill, has been experiencing many issues ranging from pricing fuel and electricity, lack of timely investments in the oil and electricity sectors, implication of rising costs on industries and the households to implications at a macroeconomic level on the fiscal performance and balance... 


Panel discussion

Published : 12:58 am  July 16, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  760 views  |  

The foundation of the modern economy is the energy sector, stated LIRNEasia Founding Chair and moderator of the session Prof. Rohan Samarajiva. “When we talk about energy in Sri Lanka there are two primary narratives – one is all about waste, inefficiency and corruption. The kind of mercantilist kind of thinking that is prevalent in the country is that we should be reducing energy imports and producing it internally.” Joining him and Anil Cabraal were Additional Secretary (Technical), Ministry of Power and Energy Ranjith Gunawardana, Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority Director General Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala, Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery Modernisation Project Director E.M. Piyasena, Public... 


Panel discussion

Published : 4:06 am  July 12, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  703 views  |  

In addition to Prof. Gehan Amaratunga, the panel discussion that followed consisted of Dialog Axiata Group CEO Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, University of Sri Jayawardenapura Senior Professor Prof. Ajit Abeysekera, Link Natural Products Chairman/Managing Director Dr. Devapriya Nugewala, University of Moratuwa Professor – Management of Technology and Consultant in Operations Management Prof. Chandana Perera, Dialog – Director University of Moratuwa Mobile Communication Research Laboratory Prof. Dileeka Dias, John Keells Holdings Consumer Food Sector President Jit Gunaratne and Ministry of Finance Deputy Secretary to the Treasury Dr. Suren Batagoda and was moderated by University of Moratuwa Office... 


Connecting to untapped resources

Published : 4:05 am  July 12, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  943 views  |  

Day three of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2013 explores the ways in which closer partnerships can be forged between universities and the private sector By Cassandra Mascarenhas The capacities in Sri Lankan universities to do research can be made more productive by encouraging the private sector to source the inputs of universities in their product and market research and direct the university staff and students to do research that is relevant to solving real life issues. This session looked at methods to forge a closer partnership between the universities and the private sector. SLINTEC Chief of Research and Technology Prof. Gehan Amaratunga highlighted the importance of Sri Lanka innovating... 


Export strategy: Time to re-think and re-focus

Published : 1:53 am  July 11, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  1 Comment  |  1,613 views  |  

By Cassandra Mascarenhas The Government policy framework has targeted to raise the rate of growth in exports to double that of GDP growth, but exports as a percentage of GDP have halved from 2000 to 2012. The share of exports of Sri Lanka as a percentage of world exports has also declined over the years to reach 0.06% by 2011. The basket of merchandise exports from Sri Lanka as well as its exports markets has remained largely unchanged over the last few decades. The second session of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit identified changes required to current strategy to rejuvenate the export sector in Sri Lanka.   Re-thinking SL’s basket of exports The keynote was delivered by Australian National... 


Fiscal management: Lessons from emerging economies

Published : 1:42 am  July 11, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  9,107 views  |  

By Cassandra Mascarenhas Sri Lanka’s fiscal deficit has been reduced from around 8% of GDP in the last decade to 6%-7% in the last two years. This has been achieved by reduction of the recurrent expenses but a concurrent fall in Government revenue is of concern. The first session of the second day of the 14th Sri Lanka Economic Summit focused on Sri Lanka’s current position, future targets and fiscal management strategies of other developing countries to ascertain what lessons could be drawn for Sri Lanka.   Pro to countercyclical policies IMF Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives Dr. Koshy Mathai spoke on the absolute necessity for Sri Lanka to move from pro-cyclical policies... 


Managing the fiscal deficit towards securing stability and development

Published : 1:31 am  July 11, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  967 views  |  

 Following is the full text of thekeynote by Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce 2013 Economic Summit’s Session One titled ‘Managing the Fiscal Deficit’ yesterday I am pleased to participate at the 14th Sri Lanka Economic Summit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce this morning. I observe that the Chamber has selected ‘Re-balancing the Economy’ as the summit theme and wonder whether this is relevant in the current context since it is not clear to me as to against which benchmark our economy has to be rebalanced in managing the fiscal deficit. It is neither clear to me as to whether this refers to last year’s experience over the previous... 


Enhancing competitiveness through higher productivity

Published : 1:18 am  July 11, 2013  |  Category: Other Sectors  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,221 views  |  

By Cassandra Mascarenhas A higher GDP growth requires higher value addition by the private sector, the main contributor to the national output. The slow recovery of the Western economies has intensified competition in the global market and firms world over are adopting diverse strategies to enhance productivity to remain competitive. The drive for higher growth and the need to remain internationally competitive demands Sri Lankan businesses to rigorously pursue strategies to increase productivity both from the perspectives of adding value by innovation and through efficiency improvements in resource use. The third session of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2013 discussed strategies for the private... 


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