Sri Lanka boasts of a relatively high literacy rate of 92 per cent amongst its population. However, its computer literacy rate is a meagre 27.5 per cent. In the context of the of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), if Sri Lanka is to circumvent the middle income trap and achieve high income status, its economic transformation has to be driven by technology and innovation. This blog briefly discusses some salient points on this matter, with a particular focus on those highlighted at IPS’ New Thinkers’ Symposium.
IPS’ New Thinkers’ Symposium featured an Innovations Hub, a space for entrepreneurs and innovators to showcase their work. Citra Labs, SYNAPSYS, Dialog Digital Services, and Jigsaw Ensemble presented their work, in line with the Symposium’s overall theme of Technology and Economic Transformation. The discussion highlighted the manner in which innovative products and services address economic policy issues that are of interest to the research community.
Poor governance and ineffective government have caused the economic growth in Sri Lanka to slow down. The Sri Lankan government faces several challenges in carrying out its functions. Amidst corruption and inefficiencies, the author argues that Sri Lanka could benefit from establishing a system of IGs, similar to that of USA.
According to a study by IPS on ‘Women-owned and Led Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (WMSMEs) in Spice and Coir Sectors of Sri Lanka’, it was found that more than half of the women surveyed, ranked ‘financial concerns’ as the biggest barrier to operating and expanding their businesses. Using the experiences of one such female entrepreneur, this blog illustrates key strategies to encourage and accelerate the gainful participation of WMSMEs in Sri Lanka’s economy through easy and affordable access to finance.