How can Sri Lanka stand out as a tourism destination? That’s a question that continues to challenge tourism development officials and hospitality industry professionals alike. The country faces a twin challenge of meeting ambitious targets (the latest one of 4 million tourists by 2020) while also attracting higher-end tourists. It’s certainly not a pipe dream. […]

By now, we have all heard about the sad hit-and-run killing of a female leopard in Yala last week. It is yet another instance of reckless driving by safari jeep drivers inside the national park, and another nail in the coffin of a wonderful park that is increasingly becoming too crowded to enjoy. In 2012, BBC’s correspondent in […]

In the midst of tumultuous global markets, a migrant crisis in Europe on top of their economic weaknesses, and continued bloody conflicts in the Middle East, the global economic order continues to be shaped and reshaped every day. Attending the recent Global Shapers Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) gave a unique insight […]

During a recent work visit to Switzerland I had a bit of down time and decided to visit some lesser-known sights in the country. I stumbled upon this Roman era amphitheatre located in present day Avenches (Aventicum, back then). It so happened that this area was celebrating its 2000 year anniversary. The amphitheatre saw intense entertainment in […]

Have you noticed how sales assistants at cosmetic and skincare product stores like Clinique or Kiehl’s in airport duty free wear white coats that are identical to those worn in laboratories (and also by pharmacists)? It’s a very clever strategy of subliminal messaging by these brands.   What it probably aims to do is to […]

I saw this story about e-medi help and remote diagnosing and it reminded me of one of my first exposures to the power of ICTs in bridging the services gap for people. It was on a World Bank field visit during a summer project back in 2006, we were going around the country visiting project […]

Entrepreneurship is very much about ideas and efforts of individual (or a collective) of private actors, who start a business, hire employees, make profits, invest, expand, etc. – all through private initiative and risk-taking. So, to talk about a role for government in all this might seem unnecessary. At the same time, believing that there is no room for government ...

This article originally appears in the Daily Mirror Business of 17th June 2015, under the weekly ‘Smart Future’ column. As the Sri Lankan economy makes the tricky transition through middle-income, it will increasingly feel a lot like a ‘squeeze from two sides’. From one side, Sri Lanka is being squeezed on wage costs – we […]

Two years ago when Robert Wescott – a former economic advisor to US President Bill Clinton - told a group of us at an economics forum that in a few years the price of oil will drop sharply to undermine alternative unconventional sources, few in the room believed him. It was an era of 100-dollar oil, production of unconventional sources ...

I’m in Jaffna today for consultations around the World Bank’s SCD study, and I am reminded of a groundbreaking paper by Paul Collier et al. It was a unique joint report by the World Bank and UN Peace Keeping Operations . In it, the author’s argue that country’s that have faced a conflict in the past […]

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