The formation of the world’s largest regional trade bloc – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2020 – on Sri Lanka’s doorstep raises fresh questions about how the country will navigate its most recent Asia-centric re-positioning.
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.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as a global emergency. Amid geopolitical tensions, prospects for the Chinese economy and global economic growth have weakened further with the outbreak of the coronavirus. According to a recent paper by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) that measured which countries are susceptible to the impact of the coronavirus and the resulting slowdown in China’s economy, Sri Lanka was among the low and middle income countries which are most vulnerable to the situation.
How Technology is Shaping Apparel Sector Supply Chains in Sri Lanka: Shifting to Nearshoring and Reshoring
This blog examines the implications of tech-led supply chain changes on Sri Lanka’s apparel industry and argues that it is important to prepare early for forthcoming changes through a holistic approach, engaging a spectrum of stakeholders to improve the competitiveness of the industry. Prioritising investment in innovation and skills and improving the efficiency of business processes is critical for Sri Lanka’s apparel industry to remain competitive in the changing tech-landscape.
Emerging new technologies will impact trade mainly by reducing the cost of trading. These advances can cut transport and logistics costs, by optimising route planning through the use of GPS and autonomous driving capabilities, with AI applications. To leverage the benefits, while minimising the costs associated with technological disruptions, governments need to manage the structural changes brought on by technological advancements successfully. In this blog, Janaka Wijayasiri discusses what policies developing countries, including Sri Lanka, should adopt to take advantage of these transformations.