Kithmina Hewage

‘A Brewing Storm’: Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Sri Lanka

Over a quarter of the world’s population is currently under movement restrictions. For the first time in recent human history, coronavirus has shattered the myth that the economy must come first. While public health concerns, undoubtedly, should take precedence over all other considerations when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be unwise to ignore the economic costs of the current situation. Small economies such as Sri Lanka, in particular, whose economic backbone is made up of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), dependent on export revenue for foreign currency generation, and is simultaneously managing a critical debt and fiscal crisis, are going to be particularly vulnerable.

Sink or Swim? Sri Lanka in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The importance of 4IR and Sri Lanka’s preparedness for it has gained growing prominence in policy discourse, albeit at a superficial level. As such, Sri Lanka needs to focus on both technological preparedness as well as creating a complementary economic ecosystem. To do so, policymakers and private sector stakeholders alike should be cognizant of three critical pillars of 4IR readiness: digital readiness, human capital readiness, and economic agility. This blog by Kithmina Hewage briefly discusses Sri Lanka’s position against these three pillars.

The Great British Breakoff: Making Sense of the Brexit Debacle

There could be grave consequences for the UK economy in the long run after leaving the European Union (EU), as it stumbles from one political-economic crisis to another. Prime Minister, Theresa May has failed to garner the required support in parliament for a proposed deal, leaving the country on the verge of a no-deal Brexit. The situation has been complicated even further with the passage of several votes in the parliament in January. This article will discuss some key questions regarding the current state of Brexit, potential outcomes, and their respective impacts on Sri Lanka.

South-South Investment: A Necessary Synergy with Development Finance

Due to the failure of developed countries to adequately financially assist developing countries, the latter are increasingly looking towards creating outward oriented economies that are more suitable for foreign direct investment and export promotion. As such, the share of South-South Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of total world FDI has risen from 3% at the beginning of the century to around 14% in 2009, and has risen even further in recent years. In this context, this blog analyses the importance of South-South investment to developing countries, with a focus on Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s New Regionalism: Looking beyond South Asia

Sri Lanka occupies a pivotal position as a strategic asset to both India and China, and despite its role as a pioneer of SAARC, the country is increasingly turning towards broader engagement with East Asia. This blog examines how Sri Lanka can delicately balance both Indian and Chinese interests to its advantage, to leverage the benefits of both regional superpowers.