Dr. Dushni Weerakoon flags key differences between Sri Lanka and Vietnam at CCC summit
01 December 2020
Dr. Dushni Weerakoon, Executive Director, IPS was a panellist at the session on ‘Upgrading Higher Value-add by Leveraging Local Resources’ at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2020 organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on 1 December, 2020. She argued that while Vietnam’s economic transformation over the last two decades holds important policy lessons for Sri Lanka, it is important to be mindful of key differences. First, the geography is in favour of Vietnam, with the country being one of the closest to the manufacturing heartland of Southern China. Second, it has a relatively young population with 70% of its 100 million people still located in rural areas, with wage pressures dampened, and the country is still competitive in labour-intensive manufacturing. Third, Vietnam has vastly different political structures that allow for policy continuity and difficult reforms to be pushed through more easily.
Dr. Weerakoon also noted that Vietnam was able to capitalise on these advantages by investing 6% of public investment in education and by being open to international trade and foreign investment.