Sri Lanka Policy Reforms to Achieve SDGs by 2030

The realisation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires enormous investment from public and private sources. Developing countries were progressing slowly on delivering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mainly due to limited financial resource availability.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the additional annual expenditure requirement in 2030 to reach key SDGs for the emerging market economies is 4% of the GDP. Moreover, this value is as high as 15% of the GDP for low-income developing countries.

For Sri Lanka, on average, the public investment allocation has been 5.4% of the GDP for the past two decades. However, given the Sri Lankan economy’s current downturn, allocating sufficient investments for SDGs is a daunting task, especially with the country battling waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it does not mean that Sri Lanka can neglect its pledges to achieve the SDGs, as several other countries have already pledged to achieve them by 2030 and are taking an active stance in assuring such goals. Therefore, Sri Lanka needs to similarly introduce necessary economic policy reforms to make this initiative a reality.

This study’s main objective is to thoroughly research and estimate the annual investment required for meaningful progress in achieving the pledged SDGs. The study also aims to propose policy reforms to increase efficiency in using public investment for the sustainable development of Sri Lanka’s economy.

Research team

Dr Lakmini Fernando
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Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka