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 […]

Author’s note: This article originally appears in the Daily Mirror (Business section) of 29th April 2015. Subsequent to this article appearing, the National Chamber of Commerce took an unusual decision to remove me as the moderator for today’s forum on ‘CEPA and It’s Implications for the Sri Lankan Economy’. The reason, I was told, was […]

Isn’t it curious why a cab driver didn’t think of Uber? Why Barnes & Noble didn’t think of Amazon? Why Blockbuster didn’t think of Netflix? Or why Marriott didn’t think of AirBnB? Well, according to this article its because when a company is so focussed on the ‘cash cow’ that keeps delivering, you are less likely to […]

Economists often argue for the need for ‘structural reforms’. Especially in Sri Lanka right now, this phrase is often used, to indicate that the Sri Lankan economy cannot hope to attain a fast growth trajectory and sustain it without undertaking tricky but essential ‘structural reforms’ in education, trade, industry, labour markets, taxation, agriculture, transport, etc. […] ...

This article originally appears in the Daily Mirror Business on 8th April, Wednesday  For too long now, regions outside the Western Province have been characterized as “lagging” and in need of a boost. But has the terminology itself contributed to the problem? The term “lagging regions” entered the lexicon of Sri Lankan development-speak in the early […]

For too long now, regions outside Sri Lanka’s Western Province have been characterized as “lagging” and in need of a boost. But has the terminology itself contributed to the problem? The term “lagging regions” entered the lexicon of Sri Lankan development-speak in the early to mid-2000s as the idea of regionally balanced development came into prominence […]

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