Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2012

The Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2012, took place at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel during 10 – 12 July. The summit was organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Nisha Arunatilake, Research Fellow, IPS was one of the keynote speakers at the “Skills & Productivity to Compete in the Global Market” Plenary Session.

Dr. Arunatilake, highlighted the importance of innovation for sustaining competitiveness and productivity in the country. She further stated that, Sri Lanka’s innovation performance needs improvement. In the latest Global Innovation Index (GII), launched earlier this month, Sri Lanka was ranked 94 out of 141 countries. Even within the lower middle income countries, Sri Lanka’s performance is just average ( rank 15 out of 36 lower middle income countries).

She focused her speech on two key areas that need attention to improve innovation, human resources and business sophistication. It is now recognized world over the skilled human resources, especially those with tertiary level education, and especially those with science and technology skills are important not only for innovation, but even for profiting from technological advancements taking place elsewhere. Having skilled workers alone is not sufficient; those workers need to be effectively and productively employed. For this, businesses need to focus on being more sophisticated. They need to continuously look into new means of improving productivity and competitiveness through introducing new technology and business processes. One critical factor for doing this, is skilled and qualified workers.