Officials of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) discussed the forthcoming National Export Strategy (NES) and other key initiatives of the agency with top Harvard economist Prof. Ricardo Hausmann last week (16 May).
Hausmann is the founder director of Harvard University’s Center for International Development and the guru behind the ‘Product Space Map’ and ‘Atlas of Economic Complexity’ analytical tools, now used by countries around the world to assess their export competitiveness and develop strategies for diversification.
This analysis was used extensively by the EDB team and by public and private stakeholders in developing the NES, which will soon be submitted to Cabinet.
The NES identifies new sectors and enterprise-oriented strategies to boost export earnings and increase jobs in the export sector.
The discussion with Hausmann centred on the development of the NES and its implementation. Upon hearing the progress made, he remarked, “I am extremely proud of your achievements so far. I understand that exports last year have picked up. The main thing to remember when implementing the new strategy is to not get stuck in plans, but to continually iterate and adapt, keeping in mind the objective of export diversification and growth.”
In a unique initiative for government, the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade has also set up ‘Sector Expert Teams’ comprising officers of the EDB and the BOI to work on promoting new export and investment sectors in a systematic and focussed manner.