Vistas for post-Covid-19 economic revival | Sunday Observer

Vistas for post-Covid-19 economic revival

14 February, 2021
Life amid Covid-19
Life amid Covid-19

It has been a year since the Covid-19 virus was first identified in the world.The number of people infected with the virus has risen to 90 million with nearly two million deaths. Even countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, which are widely regarded as the healthiest in the world, are unable to control the spread of the virus, failing to provide the facilities needed for the thousands of patients who are reported daily.

The situation in neighboring India is the same. We were praised by the World Health Organization for successfully controlling the first wave of Covid-19.

Many countries tried to control the spread of the virus during the first wave of Covid-19, but it did not have the desired effect. On the one hand, a country’s manufacturing process stagnates and the economy collapses, while on the other hand, the virus temporarily disappears and re-emerges, spreading faster than before.


We have had to experience this as well as the rest of the world. That is how the second wave of Covid-19 in the country came about. It was against this backdrop that the nations of the world devised plans to live with Covid-19 and maintain a stable position without letting the economy collapse. There is a question as to how long the country can put its restrictive health regulations in place. Is it possible to close the country until no infection is found? No, it is not practical at all. It is well-known that the spread of the disease is controlled by eliminating the chances of the virus being transmitted from one person to another. We should not go home and hide, but should engage in daily activities keeping that policy in mind.

Schools are now open for schoolchildren who have been at home for about seven months. Continuing school closures are impractical. Postponing exams is a reason to push back on life. As a country, we used to get online education with the Covid-19 epidemic. Developed countries have been using this method for a long time.However, online education is a stranger to us. It is not surprising that this is a stranger to school students and university students. Most children who go to school now have some knowledge of online education. Schools were started when they were somewhat accustomed to it.

Teachers should be interested in using technology in the classroom. It is the responsibility of the education authorities to ensure that children do not lose their motivation to use technology. These kinds of crises can emerge in the world in the future. It is the responsibility of the education authorities to ensure that the knowledge gained about online technology and the motivation of children to use it is not lost.

About three million people are involved in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. All of them are facing severe economic problems due to the absence of tourists. Many hotels have been closed. Employees have lost their jobs. The tourism industry in the country was in good shape before the Easter Sunday attacks. The industry was reviving before Covid-19. Many people were eager to invest in the sector. But as the Covid-19 pandemic spread around the world, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry plummeted.

Tourism sector

It is a good thing that the Government has decided to use the Colombo-based bus service, which has invested in the tourism sector and bought luxury buses, as there are no tourists today.

The Government should be commended for implementing such plans and for paving the way for better public transport for the commuters.

We need to understand that with the opening of the airport, we will have to face many problems in the future. One is the arrival of Covid-19 infected people in the country. The doors of the country should be opened to Sri Lankan migrant workers who bring foreign exchange to the country. With the loss of jobs, they can no longer afford to go abroad. Steps have been taken by the Government to repatriate migrant workers. We need to understand that these are people who have worked in foreign countries, are coming without jobs. On the other hand, a large number of people who worked in various sectors in Sri Lanka, including the hotel industry, have lost their jobs.

As people from foreign countries apply for jobs in the country, there will be fierce competitions for jobs, which could lead to lower wages being determined for professional levels. Rising unemployment may also increase the risk of social unrest. The Government should take into account all these factors and make plans to expand opportunities for the people.

Against this background, we have to think of something new. We can move beyond the monotonous way of life and make creative decisions to overcome future challenges. All you have to do is give it a try. Covid-19 has created a number of new business opportunities as a turning point in the world economy. Presenting businesses in a new way is a good way to get out of the current crisis. Businesses need to be diversified.

Hotels that have been closed without tourists can be linked to the agricultural sector. Vertical Farming Technology, a popular agricultural method, can be implemented in hotels. This low-cost and easy-to-use method is now being implemented in many countries. In hotels at altitudes of 1,500 metres above the sea level and in shady areas, crops such as milk potatoes can be grown. Using this as a substitute for potatoes also helps prevent the outflow of foreign exchange.

Entrepreneurs who are well versed in agriculture can be encouraged by the Department of Agriculture by awarding them the Good Agriculture Practice Certificate. Another economic group that has been adversely affected is tour guides. Licensed tour guides can use their knowledge of the language to launch courses for those who wish to acquire knowledge of the language.


The present generation can be used to make a new revolution in the field of technology at a time when the fourth stage of the Industrial Revolution is approaching. Unlike in the past, the younger generation is not carrying out a revolution with stones; their revolution is in technology through digital form and cyberspace. The youth between the ages of 20 and 25 are highly literate and can use the creative knowledge of them to create websites and business logos. Today, Facebook is one of the major foreign exchange earning businesses in the United States. It was created by Max Zuckerberg, a creative young entrepreneur who grew up on the Internet.

Jack Ma, a Chinese businessman who owns the Ali Baba business online, is another entrepreneur emerged through the Internet. Institutions that contribute to the development of entrepreneurship should work to provide cover under intellectual property to the innovations that young entrepreneurs generate through digital technology and cyberspace.

In the face of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, political crises, such as the First and Second World Wars, companies, such as Honda, Sony and Kubota became the most advanced companies in the world, overcoming challenges.

They led their businesses in fresh ways, demonstrating to the world the qualities that an entrepreneur should have such as great commitment, determination and trust. We too can overcome this crisis in the same way. We must have the will and the commitment. It is the responsibility of the Government to create opportunities for that.

(The writer is a lecturer at the Department of Management Studies, Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy, Pallekele Kandy.)