Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2019


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Summary:  Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2019

Transforming Sri Lanka’s Economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)

The IPS’ annual flagship report Sri Lanka: State of the Economy provides a critical assessment of the country’s economic performance and near term outlook for growth and macroeconomic stability. Each year, the report also examines crucial medium term policy priorities to achieve sustained growth and strengthen socio-economic development outcomes for the country.

The Sri Lankan economy is making a slow recovery after a series of setbacks – a devastating terror attack in April 2019, preceded by a political crisis in the third quarter of 2018. With sluggish GDP growth of around 3 per cent and high foreign debt settlements, the overall positioning of the economy in 2019 is weak. This is despite significant gains from macro reform measures in fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policy management from mid-2016.

As Sri Lanka prepares the groundwork for a fresh phase of economic growth and development on the back of decisive elections in 2019-2020, new tools to assess and understand competitiveness must be heeded. Transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and 3D printing – under the banner of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – are proving to be invasive, complex and disruptive. For countries with ageing populations like Sri Lanka, that must rely on productivity as a key driver of future growth, the challenges need to be understood and opportunities grasped.

This year’s Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2019 report on the theme of ‘Transforming Sri Lanka’s Economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)’ examines the many areas of the Sri Lankan economy – world of work, education, migration, gender, health, financial inclusion, trade, agriculture, and climate change, amongst others – where 4IR technologies will come into play as defining features of the country’s future economic progress.


  1. Policy Perspectives
  2. Sri Lanka: Economic Performance and Outlook
  3. Global Economic Developments and Impacts on Sri Lanka
  4. Gearing Up for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)
  5. 4IR and the Future of Work in Sri Lanka
  6. Sri Lanka’s Education Sector: Reskilling in the 4IR
  7. Migration and International Travel in the 4IR
  8. 4IR: A Challenge or an Opportunity for Gender Equality?
  9. Health Care in the 4IR
  10. Financial Inclusion in the 4IR: Opportunities and Challenges for Sri Lanka
  11. Digital Technologies and the Future of Trade
  12. Smart Digital Farming in Agriculture: Status and Prospects for Sri Lanka
  13. 4IR and Environmental Sustainability in Sri Lanka
  14. 4IR and Women in the Workforce: Sri Lanka’s Apparel Industry
  15. 4IR and Intellectual Property Rights
  16. Privacy and Data Protection in the 4IR
  17. Role of Data in the 4IR