Sri Lanka advised to improve connectivity to prosperous areas

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Aug 10, 2010 (LBO) – The World Bank has advised Sri Lanka to change its development approach and improve access of people to prosperous parts of the country instead of shifting economic activity to lagging regions. These measures include investment subsidies, tax rebates, local regulations, local infrastructure development and targeted investment climate reforms, such as special regulations for export processing zones. Growth can be speeded up by enabling people to seek economic opportunities, improving quality of basic services across regions, and targeting interventions to stimulate economic growth in selected lagging areas.

This can lead to “rapid and geographically inclusive” growth in Sri Lanka, said a new World Bank report called Sri Lanka: Reshaping Economic Geography: Connecting People to Prosperity.

“We argue that policy makers should not be concerned in moving factors of production but rather increasing labour mobility and improving links between lagging areas and more prosperous areas,” said Somik Lall, co-author of the study and Senior Economist, World Bank.

Economic growth has been shown to be unbalanced in geographic terms with some areas prospering and others lagging behind a