Category Archives: export issues

Hambantota Port: Some Basic Facts from the Spot Today

Lakshman F. B. Gunasekara,** responding to a SET of QUESTIONS from Michael Roberts [in black …with His Answers in blue]

For my own edification I would appreciate your THOUGHTS on any – or all — of these specific areas …. Or alternatively if you can point me towards some authoritative article which clarify the issues in useful ways.

A = Which Ministry or department is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Port and is there any Chinese participation in this admin/supervision?

The running of the port’s harbour marine-side operations is by SL Ports Authority, but all logistics (cargo loading/off-loading, ship crew servicing, ship servicing etc etc) is done on contract by a Chinese company which is a subsidiary of the giant, Hong Kong based China Merchants Group (which has similar and more complex operations all round the world). Port security is (in addition to Harbour Police) is maintained by a Navy troops unit while the Navy runs its own small naval base facility on one side of the harbour.

ALSO SEE http://www.adaderana.lk/news.php?nid=44680 … dated 9 December 2017 with Ranil Wickremasinghe in lead role

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Rescuing Sri Lanka’s Ailing Economy: Pathways Now

W. A. Wijewardena,* delivering the Professor H A de S Gunasekara Memorial Oration 2018 — entitled “Sri Lanka’s Economy at a Crossroads: The Way to Rescue the Ailing Economy” …. also available at http://www.ft.lk/columns/Sri-Lanka-s-economy-at-crossroads–The-1972-76-Five-Year-Plan-and-its-diagnosis-of-economic-ailments/4-668469

ABSTRACT: Sri Lanka is at a crossroads today because it is snared in what is known as the middle income trap. It was easy for Sri Lanka to move up from a low income country to a lower middle income country by using its abundantly available cheap labour resources. However, moving up further to an upper middle income country was challenging since the country had to spend about 24 years in the lower middle income country category before making a breakout. Unless it attains an economic growth rate of about 9% per annum in the next 15 year period, it is unlikely that it will be able to beat the middle income trap. The way to do so is to produce for a market bigger than the market in Sri Lanka and supply goods that are demanded by that market. It requires the country to convert its production system from a simple technology based one to a complex technology one and join the global production sharing network to keep its presence in the market. The flipside is that these are challenging targets but not impossible since there are many countries that have done so with appropriate investment in science and technology leading to research, development and marketing.

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Ranil Wickremasinghe at the Oxford Union delineating the Geo-Politics of the Indian Ocean over Time

Today I had the opportunity to speak at two hallowed British institutions: the London Stock Exchange founded in 1698, and now at the Oxford Union born in 1823. Many Sri Lankans educated at Oxford have made an impact in Sri Lanka. Among them were two Presidents of this very Union – my colleagues – Lalith Athulathmudali – we studied at the same school, we entered Parliament at the same time in 1977 and we sat in the same Cabinets. Lakshman Kadirgamar, who like me, studied for the LLB at the University of Colombo, and then came to Balliol. They were both Presidents of the Union in the Hillary terms of 1957-58 and 1958-59, respectively, and both their lives were cut short by the violence perpetrated by the LTTE.

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Export Strategy for Sri Lanka Initiated

Editor, News-in-Asia, 20 July 2018, where the title is Sri Lanka launches ambitious 5 yr National Export Strategy to boost economic growth”

The Sri Lankan government has launched a five year National Export Strategy (NES) to boost foreign investments, foreign exchange earnings and employment, the Daily FT reported Friday. Addressing the launch of the five year NES strategy, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the key objective of the NES  was to increase the capacity of the local export sector, improve trade performance and competitiveness and ensure different sectors of the economy evolved to grab a share of the global market in reaching the government’s goal of 28 billion US dollars in export revenue by 2022.

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Bob Carr’s Sharp Criticism of Present China-Bashing by Aussie Ministers, Media and Intellectuals

Bob Carr, courtesy of The Australian Financial Review, 10 July 2018, where the title reads as follows:’Get tough rhetoric has denied us any sway in Beijing”with highlights being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

As foreign minister I recall an irritating flare-up in our relations with one of the Pacific states. There had been a “misunderstanding” at Sydney airport that upset the island state’s prime minister. The anger ran strong and the state contemplated a big anti-Australian gesture: terminating an arrangement under which we trained their police. And, here’s the rub, inviting China to fill the gap.

More interesting was the Chinese response, captured by one of our agencies. China rejected the notion of moving in because it knew it would antagonise Australia. At the time we had differences with China over Huawei and US Marines, but still managed a mutually respectful, pragmatic relationship.

 Malcolm Turnbull gratuitously opted to parody Chairman Mao when introducing anti-foreign interference legislation. AAP

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Hambantota Port City Prospects Burgeoning

Editor, NewsinAsia, 22 June 2018,  where the title reads ” Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port aiming to attract $500 mn worth of investments

Colombo, June 22 (Daily FT) – As China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd. (CM Port) completes the final tranche of payment for the Hambantota Port joint venture, the public-private partnership is now aiming to attract as much as $ 500 million worth of investments to set up plants inside the port as well as general operation expansion.

Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), the joint venture company formed by the Sri Lankan Government and CM Port, has already received 15 proposals to set up plants inside the port, Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the media yesterday at a press conference held at his ministry.

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SBD de Silva: Marxist Scholar Extraordinary … Sharp Mind, Simple Life-Style

Gamini Seneviratne,  courtesy of The Island, 18 June 2018

SB who passed away last week at the age of 93 was undoubtedly the foremost analyst we have had of what his principal work defined as “The Political Economy of Underdevelopment”.  In that work, first published in 1982, as the blurb puts it, Dr. de Silva dealt with the theory of underdevelopment as he attempted a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment. In the Marxist tradition he focused on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.

Front Cover
RoutledgeMay 23, 2012 – Business & Economics – 646 pages

First published in 1982, this reissue deals with the theory of underdevelopment, as Dr. de Silva attempts a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment and, in the Marxist tradition, focuses on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.Viewing underdevelopment as a problem in the non-transformation to capitalism, this analysis is in terms of the character of the dominant capital and of the dominant classes. Underdevelopment thus encompasses the ‘traditional’ peasant economy and also the export sector where the ‘modernizing’ influence of colonialism was felt. The book finally considers how the contemporary internationalization of capital affected the economies of the Third World.

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