Sri Lanka needs to create an environment that rewards investment: Harvard economist

Feb 14, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should move towards a simpler tariff structure, and implement direct taxes on things like income and property to maintain revenue, Harvard economist Robert Lawrence says.

“90 percent of your tariffs should be in the simple schedule, and then there may be some exceptions,” Lawrence, faculty chair of the Practice of Trade Policy Executive Program at the Harvard Kennedy School added.

“I think an outward orientation is very critical and also, it’s hard to judge what you really are competitive in, and what you really could add value in, when you are putting these penalties on your firms by giving them costly inputs.”

He was speaking at an event organized by the Advocata Institute at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute.

The full speech and Q and A follows: