Sri Lanka has a chance to attract shifting industries: economist

Nov 20, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has a chance to attract industries from advanced nations in the wake of current turmoil if the country can put its house in order with a longer term view and create a strong base for industry, an economist has said.

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Though the current turmoil may lead to prolonged recession and low growth in advanced economies, it may provide Asian nations new opportunities.

“I actually believe this is the greatest opportunity for developing countries,” says Howard Nicholas, from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.

“They won’t get it again and Asia is the prime place for this. Because India will attract so much of attention again once the capital starts to move from the advanced countries.”

Nicholas was in Sri Lanka to address an economic forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. He is a strong advocate of industrial export led growth which has brought results, especially in East Asia.

Industrial Base

He says Sri Lanka has to put in place an industrial structure that will attract high value exports and move up from garments.

“Sri Lanka has to put into pl