Category Archives: export issues

A Welcome Spike in Sri Lanka’s Exports in 2019

DAILY FT News Item, 18 April 2019, with title Exports off to a positive start in 2019″

  • 7.5% growth propels second consecutive month of $ 1 b plus performance
  • Industrial exports mainly contributed to growth of export earnings, driven by textiles and garments, rubber products, machinery and mechanical appliances and food, beverages and tobacco
  • Agricultural exports earnings grew YoY for first time since Feb 2018, due to growth in coconut, seafood, vegetables, unmanufactured tobacco exports
  • CB and Govt. measures apply brakes on imports to dip for third consecutive month by 17.8% to $ 1.65 b
  • Trade deficit shrinks to $ 617 m in Jan, compared to $ 701 m in Dec 2018 and $ 1.05 b in Jan 2018

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Nimal Sanderatne’s Review of Lanka’s Economic Performance over 71 Years

Nimal Sanderatne, in Sunday Times, 3 February 2013, where the title reads  Tale of lost opportunities: 71 years of economic underdevelopment amid social progress”  









On the eve of the country’s 71st anniversary of independence, we cannot be content with the country’s post-independence economic performance. It has been far below our potential and expectations at independence. It has been a tale of lost opportunities. Nevertheless, our post-independence social development has been impressive with significant improvements in education, health and social amenities. Continue reading

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Dissecting Mangala’s 2019 Budget

Sam Samarasinghe, in Island, 9 March 2019, where the title is “Budget for All”

The 2019 budget is a budget for all. It is no surprise because 2019 is an election year. The government has not been shy about it. The request that it made to the IMF to extend the $1.6 billion Extended Fund Facility by one year to 2020 at the same time included a request to relax the terms and conditions on which the IMF facility was originally given in 2016. This signals the intention of the government to have a budget that will be attractive to voters.



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Sri Lanka’s Budget in Perilous Times

Sam Samarasinghe, in Sunday Times, 3 March 2019, where the title is “Budget 2019: Minister Samaraweera’s thankless task”

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has the most thankless task in government just now. That is the management of public finances. Saying that Sri Lanka’s public finances are in a mess is a serious understatement. Many people think that the budget is a magic wand that can reduce prices, create jobs and perform other economic miracles. It plays an important role in the economy but is not a panacea for all ills.

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Creeping Imperialism in Sri Lanka via Neoliberal Impositions and the UNHRC

Tamara Kunanayakam: “Introduction” to her academic article “Neoliberalism versus Sovereignty: The Case of Sri Lanka” in Sri Lanka Journal of Economic Research, Volume 6(1,) November 2018, pp.125-146…. [without the footnotes … and with underlining imposed]

A fundamental principle of international law, incorporated in a wide range of international and regional instruments, is permanent sovereignty over the nation’s wealth and resources and all its economic activities as a basic constituent of the right of peoples to self-determination and its corollary, the duty of States to respect sovereign equality in their relations with other States. It is a recognition that there can be no political independence without economic, social and cultural independence, “free from all forms of interference or pressure, direct or indirect, of whatever sort and under whatever pretext.” For independence to be complete, any future attempt to restore foreign influence or domination must be prevented forever.

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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 … 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–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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