FITIS welcomes National Digital Economy Strategy 

Thursday, 25 April 2024 00:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka has already given a commitment to develop the digital economy to $ 15 billion in 2030 from the current value of approximately $ 4 billion
FITIS Chairman 

Indika De Zoysa

The Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) yesterday welcomed the launch of National Digital Economy Strategy.

In a statement FITIS said the “National Economy Strategy for Sri Lanka – 2030” was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers at the Cabinet Meeting held on 25 March 2024. President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Technology, presented the proposal to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval.

Coordinated by the Ministry of Technology and supported by the World Bank, the proposals were prepared by a team of experts comprising officers from both public and private sector. 

FITIS said it was involved in the formulation of these proposals from the beginning and contributed directly through its representation in the High Level Officers Committee coordinated by the Office of Secretary to the Prime Minister.

“Rapid Advancements in the digital technologies are compelling the governments to transform services from the conventional practices to digital methodologies. This trend is noticed even in the regional countries. In adopting the National Government of Sri Lanka has recognised the potential of digital technologies to increase the revenue generation and to minimise wastage,” FITIS said.

FITIS said it welcomes the approval granted for the implementation of the National Digital Economy Strategy – 2030 (NDES – 2030) as most of the FITIS events are aligned with the key areas of the Strategy. The current contribution by the Digital Economy to the country’s economy stands well below the regional average. FITIS has already given a commitment to develop the Digital Economy to $ 15 billion in 2030 from the current value of approximately $ 4 billion.

With the vision of “A digitally empowered Sri Lanka for innovation, inclusion and sustainable growth” NDES – 2030 has six core principles, six strategic areas and six critical enablers. The six core principles – inclusive, innovative, sustainable, global, human-centric and rights-based. Six strategic areas focus on: 

Infrastructure, connectivity and access: Provisioning of broadband connectivity covering the country is an essential necessity to implement the NDES – 2030.

Skills, literacy, industry and jobs: Improving the digital skills and awareness are vital for the sustainability of the Digital Economy. Improving digital export earnings, supporting digital start-ups and expanding the ICT Workforce are key areas.

Connected digital Government: Focus on creating digital platforms that collaborate and share information, to serve the citizens.

Cyber security, safety and privacy: Objective is to create a “trusted environment” for safe use of digital platforms and systems.

Digital financial services: Expand digital financial areas across the country to increase digital transactions.

Digitalisation across sectors and MSMEs: Assist MSMEs to adopt digital technology and increase their contribution to the national economy.

Legal and Regulatory Framework, Digital Identity, Institutional Governance, Data Governance, Stakeholder Engagement and Private Investment are the six critical enablers identified in the NDES-2030.

The national digital economy strategy is now recognised as an integral part of the country’s economy and is due to be implemented in phases.

FITIS is already active in some of the six strategic areas. “Digitalisation across sectors and MSMEs” is one strategic area where FITIS has initiated the DigiGo program. Here FITIS focuses on the digitalisation of SMEs and MSMEs. FITIS member companies have locally developed digital tools for enabling the SME/MSMEs to transform their business operations from traditional methods to digital technologies. The first event related to DigiGo was held at the Galle Fort on 20 October 2023.

Many of the FITIS major events are designed to encourage digitisation efforts. For example, the Annual National ICT Expo “INFOTEL” introduces the latest technologies in the digital domain. “API ASIA” focuses on how digital systems can be interconnected for more effective outputs. “Sri Lanka Internet Day” is another annual event of FITIS for introducing new technology in a connected world.

In line with the strategic areas focused on Cybersecurity, FITIS along with ISC2 Sri Lanka Chapter signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sri Lanka CERT (under Ministry of Technology) to train 1000 government officers in Cyber Security at no cost to the Government of Sri Lanka. This program will introduce key areas of Cyber Security to the participants enabling them to protect the IT Systems of their institutions from cyber threats.

FITIS said it works very closely with the Ministry of Technology, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Women, Children and Self-Empowerment to train and reskill unemployed youth to meet the human resource requirements in the ICT Industry. The member companies of FITIS have already identified the key areas of need so that the unemployed youth can be trained and inducted into these areas.

Another important annual event is the Young Computer Scientist (YCS) Competition conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the University of Colombo School of Computing. This competition popularises ICT Technologies among the school children. Winning projects of this competition are then submitted to the Asia Pacific IT Awards. In the APICTA 2023 held in Hong Kong, two students from Sri Lanka won Merit Awards.

“Implementation of NDES-2030 is essential for Sri Lanka to expand its digital economy and achieve the target of $ 15 billion. In this context, FITIS with expertise and experience over the past several decades in the ICT Industry sector, will work closely with the Government of Sri Lanka in the implementation of NDES-2030,” FITIS said. 


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