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. […]
I knew that Xiaomi was the most popular phone maker in China and had a stupendously high valuation. Also that they only sell online, no store presence. But I never knew this about them – that they only sell in “flash sales” ever so often, it is in limited batches, and it all happens within […]
Improving Jeep Driver Behaviour at Yala National Park: Four Ideas from Regulatory Economics, Big Data and Behavioural ScienceThe Curionomist
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 […]
Following Wednesday’s ‘Smart Future’ article, I had a lot of very insightful feedback and pertinent questions. A couple of exchanges in particular were very rewarding, as it helped jog my thinking further as well. I thought it would be useful for the readers of the blog to get a taste of it, so I am reproducing […]
“When China sneezes, does the world catch a cold?” is a question on the minds of investors, economists and world leaders this week, as recent troubles in the Chinese economy sent ripples through markets around the world. The sneezing came in three bouts. In July, China’s stock market began to show the first signs of […]
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 […]
The Sri Lankan economy is in the midst of a unique, and tricky, transition. It’s easy for Sri Lanka to get stuck in what economists call “the middle income trap”. Already the country is finding it increasingly difficult to compete against cheap labour in low-income economies (like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Laos), on the one hand, […]
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 […]
Post-Election Agenda: A Sri Lankan Economy That is More Open to the World With More Companies Going GlobalThe Curionomist
Over the past decade or more the Sri Lankan economy has become less and less open to the world than it has ever been. Exports to GDP has nearly halved; the share of trade in overall growth has fallen, our overall tariff protection rates are higher now than in the past; our export diversification and […]
President Maithripala Sirisena delivered a keynote address at the closing session of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce ‘Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2015′ today, addressing over 500 of the country’s leading private sector representatives. Here are my 9 highlights from his remarks. The government must be transparent, accountable, clean, and fair in its dealings with the […]
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 […]
Promoting Entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka: Balancing the Government’s Role and Introducing an Entrepreneurship Climate IndexThe Curionomist
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 ...
At the recent Energy Symposium, a crosscutting theme throughout was the need for Sri Lanka to build new knowledge capacity in the energy sector to meet emerging challenges.
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 […]
This article originally appears in the Daily Mirror Business of 10th June 2015, under the ‘Smart Future’ weekly series. In developing the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector, we often assume that the quick and easy fix is concessionary loan schemes. But there is a key issue which goes beyond access to finance, but is […]
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 ...
This is the 13th article in the ‘Smart Future’ series, appearing originally in print in the Daily Mirror Business of 27th May 2015. Last week, Sri Lanka marked the six-year anniversary since the end of the armed conflict in May 2009. In the aftermath of the war, there was an impressive reconstruction and public infrastructure […]
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 […]
How should we think about industrialisation in Sri Lanka? It might have something to do with cats and fish!