Want to be a breakout nation? SL told to limit term of political leadership

Monday, 2 September 2013 00:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam A world-famous author and investment advisor on Friday opined that for Sri Lanka to achieve and maintain sustainable economic growth as part of being a much aspired breakout nation, the political leadership cycle should be kept short. Emerging Market Equities, Global Macro and Morgan Stanley Investment Management USA Head Ruchir Sharma, who is the author of the best-seller ‘Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles,’ said that having formulated 15 ‘rules of the road’ to measure performance of countries, the most important rule that top the checklist of an investor is the political leadership cycle. According to Sharma, the period of political leadership should not exceed a decade since the best economic reforms take place only when the government of any country is in its first term. “When people often ask me what form of governance or government is better, my answer to this is that the quality of leadership is what matters the most,” said Sharma, whilst delivering the 63rd Anniversary Lecture of the Central Bank. He pointed out that having looked at about 120 nations that grew at 5% or more for a decade, it was found that half were democracies whereas the other half were authoritarian countries. “The governance type doesn’t matter, but the quality does. This is why I am keen to meet political leaders to get a feel of the measures taken for economic progress,” said the writer, who is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the Economic Times. On this rule he opined Sri Lanka so far is doing “fine”. “The current President has been very decisive and is taking important measures to ensure reforms take place. However, if a leader wants to protect his legacy, he should not be in power for more than a decade since after that will be diminishing returns of power,” emphasised Sharma.