With the Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak’s visit to Sri Lanka, there has been a renewed interest in entering into a FTA with Malaysia. If such a FTA comes into fruition, how will it impact Sri Lanka’s trade? Preliminary estimates by IPS suggest that likely gains from bilateral trade liberalization in goods will be limited to few products, but there might be gains from other areas of cooperation, namely in investment flows to Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka, the tourism sector boasts of a vast potential to reach economic growth targets. It can also help achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As such, this blog discusses some of the ways in which tourism could make useful contributions towards reducing poverty and inequality, conserving the environment, improving water and sanitation, and promoting public-private partnerships.
Tourism is the third largest revenue earner for Sri Lanka, accounting for US$ 3.5 billion in 2016. With the rise of informal accommodation, there have been both challenges and opportunities in the industry. This blog argues that registering and regulating the informal sector is necessary to create a level playing field in the industry, to maintain standards, and to encourage small service providers.
According to a study by IPS on ‘Women-owned and Led Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (WMSMEs) in Spice and Coir Sectors of Sri Lanka’, it was found that more than half of the women surveyed, ranked ‘financial concerns’ as the biggest barrier to operating and expanding their businesses. Using the experiences of one such female entrepreneur, this blog illustrates key strategies to encourage and accelerate the gainful participation of WMSMEs in Sri Lanka’s economy through easy and affordable access to finance.
In the spirit of World Tourism Day on 27 September 2017, this article looks at how measuring sustainable tourism can help policymakers and industry stakeholders to make information-based, effective decisions. It argues that the adoption of sustainable tourism indicators in a sensible manner lowers the costs associated with inappropriate tourism policy interventions. However, the development of a technically-sound and meaningful set of indicators in itself is a challenging task for Sri Lanka.