Spotlight: Econ Op-eds in Summary (Week ended 02nd September '20)
1. Tourism déjà vu
By: Daily FT
· The government had announced their plan to develop tourist attractions in several parts of the country over the next four months. This is a well-timed decision given that there would not be a large number of tourists during this period, much like the preceding months considering that the pandemic is still not under control globally.
· One of the main proposals under this program is to pay special attention to communities-driven tourism. This is important especially since Sri Lanka has enjoyed generous revenue increases during the past decade but has failed to ensure that tourists get the care, security, facilities, fairness and transparency that would make it product competitive.
· However, such proposals have also been implemented in the past with little success. The government should focus on protecting Sri Lanka’s natural resources and educating the public at the grassroots level to promote a positive image for Sri Lanka’s tourism, while at the same time pushing the Sri Lankan brand in a far more coordinated manner to maximize the country’s exposure abroad.
2. Preconditions for Sri Lanka’s sustained economic development
By: Nimal Sanderatne
· Mitigating Sri Lanka’s external finance vulnerability, reduction of the fiscal deficit and combatting the recent increase in unemployment due to the economic effects of the pandemic are among the urgent macroeconomic tasks that require the government’s attention.
· Nevertheless, the country has a history of inappropriate policies rooted in ideological reasons that have, despite impressive performance of social indicators, resulted in economic performance that is well behind its regional peers. Overcoming this ideological overhang is key to achieving long run sustainable economic and social development.
· The absence of several key prerequisites has hampered the country’s economic development. These include National unity and social harmony, political stability and rule of law, eradication of corruption, and the effective implementation of pragmatic economic policies. Addressing these is a must if economic development is to reach its potential.
(Compiled by: Chayu Damsinghe, Promodhya Abeysekara & Eshan de Mel)
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