Colombo has a high potential to become a global city.
The geographic location and close proximity to maritime sea routes are strategic advantages. Its geo-location is an exploitable asset in the global economy. However, it is not only the access to “Silk Road” that global cities compete with each other now, but for capital, talent and ideas as well.
Presently Colombo is ranked 102 (out of 120 cities) in Global Competitive Index compiled by The Intelligence Unit of “The Economist”. According to the current projections Colombo will slip to 108th position in next ten years; behind a host of Indian (Ahmadabad, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai), Middle Eastern (Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi) and Far Eastern (KL, Singapore, Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta) cities.
If these projections to be proven wrong and Colombo to move up the ranking and recognized as a globally competitive city in the knowledge driven and highly networked global economy, the city needs to build new features and capabilities.
Going by the “The Economist” study the city needs to improve significantly in the following areas.
• Economic strength
• Physical capital
• Financial maturity
• Institutional character
• Social and cultural character
• Human capital
• Environment and natural hazards
• Global appeal
This would demand harnessing the power of cross boarder flow of capital, knowledge, talent and ideas. Developing policy frameworks that will facilitate building new capabilities, broader connectivity and engagement with regional and global economies.
Session 2 – LBR LBO Infrastructure Summit 2015 – Keynote Speech – Professor P K S Mahanama