Economy

Beyond Turmeric: How Import Controls are Impacting Sri Lanka’s Economy

Historically, the Sri Lankan government has resorted to import controls to counter a balance of payment crisis. The current import controls have the same underlying rationale. However, the trade deficit’s temporary shrinkage may not be sustainable if there is no increase in exports. To increase exports, Sri Lanka needs to remove hurdles on input supply, remove distortionary tariffs, exploit market opportunities under the rule-based free trade system, and in the long run, improve the country’s GVC participation.

Sri Lanka’s Post-COVID-19 Recovery: The Need for Inclusive Economic Growth

High levels of inequality impede sustainable growth and development of a country. Sri Lanka made impressive strides to reach an upper middle-income country (UMIC) status in July 2019, only to slip back a year later. The COVID-19 crisis, amid growing inequities, is likely to make the task of regaining UMIC status even harder. This blog highlights the main sectors and social groups that are adversely affected, and explains the need for inclusive economic growth (IEG) post-COVID-19 for Sri Lanka to emerge as a peaceful and developed country.

RCEP: Sri Lanka’s Latest Asia-centric Conundrum

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.

COVID-19: a wake-up call for Sri Lanka’s tea industry

By the time COVID-19 hit, Sri Lanka’s tea production and export earnings had already been on a declining trend. The adverse weather conditions and long-term structural issues such as labour shortages and lack of technological application have affected production levels over time. With the first wave of the pandemic, the vulnerabilities of the tea sector were exposed. Now, Sri Lanka and most of the main tea buyers are experiencing a second wave which can have far reaching negative consequences than previously anticipated. This blog discusses the impacts of COVID-19 on Sri Lanka’s tea industry and the different mitigation strategies that the government can adopt to revive the industry.

Fiscal Policy Responses to COVID-19: What Can We Learn from the International Context?

Amidst the severe disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for economies to formulate and implement effective policies to mitigate the negative impacts induced by the crisis. Given the fact that Sri Lanka is an aspiring upper-middle-income country (UMIC), this blog examines fiscal responses by affected countries including Sri Lanka, at different income levels – i.e. high-income countries (HICs), middle-income countries (MICs), and low-income countries (LICs) in line with multilateral financial institutions’ (MFIs) recommendations.