Spotlight: Econ Op-eds in Summary (Week ended 09th December '20)
1. Facts and Fiction of Chinese investments: Its economic projects are not bad; rather the discourse is heavily politicised
By: Ranga Jayasuriya
· One of the main complaints of Chinese support is the Chinese debt trap and the supposed predatory nature of Chinese investments. However, data shows that this is not the case for Sri Lanka where only 10% of the country’s debt being from China in comparison to the 47% of debt obtained from market borrowings.
· Another claim is that Chinese projects deprive Sri Lankans of job opportunities. However, data shows that Chinese projects recruit substantial numbers of local workers, although the figures tend to vary by the stage of the project. There are also concerns on geopolitics, that view China’s geo-economic presence with a different lens.
· Despite benefits Sri Lanka can enjoy from Chinese funding these investments are often criticized due to them being highly politicized. This is not an issue unique to Sri Lanka and neither it is unique to a political party. However, the country needs to avoid politicizing investments, and instead pay attention to the economic pros and cons to continue with development.
(Compiled by: Chayu Damsinghe & Promodhya Abeysekara)
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