Sri Lanka needs prompt coherent action to survive global slump: think tank

Feb 16, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka needs “prompt and coherent” policy action to counter a global slump which was slowing demand for exports and making it difficult for the government and private firms to borrow abroad, a top think tank has said. “It is essential that prompt and coherent policy action is taken in order to address the challenges that will be faced in the coming months,” the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), a semi-government think tank, said.

“With world growth projected to fall to its lowest in 60 years, it is feared that almost all countries will suffer serious economic downturns; Sri Lanka will certainly face tough times through 2009.”

The IPS is organizing a seminar on Wednesday February 18, on ‘The Global Economic Crisis and Sri Lanka’.

The seminar will assess the global financial and economic crises, its impact on the region and on Sri Lanka, with resource persons drawn from the public and private sector.

Unlike countries such as India and China which enjoy large domestic markets, IPS says ‘decoupling’ was never on the cards for Sri Lanka.

“Being a trade dependent country with a highly concentrated export market (the US and EU account for 62 percent of total exports) and a concentrated export bask