Expert advocates economic reforms for five years | Sunday Observer

Expert advocates economic reforms for five years

3 March, 2019

Sri Lanka needs to implement much needed economic reforms at least for the next five years, particularly to address the debt burden. It is the responsibility of governments to place the economy on a sound footing to revive growth and to accrue benefits to the people, Executive Director, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja told the first ever Asia Liberty Forum in Colombo last week.

Political instability will affect the country’s progress as this is an election year.

However, the country shows some resilience and will move forward, he said.

The two-day forum was organised by the Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka.

The country would face the reality of debt overheads whoever comes to power at the upcoming Presidential election and Parliamentary election to be held by the end of this year and next year, he said.

Speaking on the common challenges faced by the South Asian region, he pointed out three main challenges, which include the political instability in the region, mainly due to the escalating conflict between Pakistan and India, the upcoming elections in India and Sri Lanka and most importantly, specific issues relating to the One belt-One Road initiative of China. He further said that China had inspired the infrastructure growth and investment model, while the western world inspired growth model had been poorly implemented in Sri Lanka.

Speaking on the Economic freedom and political freedom in the South Asian region, he said, “On the economic freedom front, South Asia has done something reasonably, but still it is fairly protected. South Asia may be somewhat ahead of the economic freedom front, but on the personal freedom side, South Asia did not do well.”

Sri Lanka is a country that is blessed with everything, but beautiful policies and economy. However, the country has very strong governing ideology , but whole of the political leaders have failed its people, Advisor Advocata Institute and National University of Singapore Prof. Razeen Sally said.

Speaking on the growing influence of China in the South Asian region, , Dr. Christer Ljungwall from the ENC Center for Global Affairs, Sweden said he would not consider China as a challenge. Instead, he emphasized that the rest of the countries in the region need to deal with it in a pragmatic manner “We have to deal with it and find ways to integrate with them in order to create value for the ordinary citizens, while conveying our message to them in a right manner,” he said.