Sri Lanka should export or should be ready to perish: Harsha De Silva


Aug 12, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has no way to sustain economic growth without exploring the international market and export more value added innovative products and services, Deputy Economic Policy Minister Harsha de Silva said.

“We have messed up our priorities. Either we export or perish,” de Silva said.

“That is the simple factor. We can’t depend on our economy to sustain high growth with 20 million people,”

“We can sustain only if we plug ourselves to the world and start producing products and services that are competitive with the rest of the world.”

He said at the moment the growth is coming from the non-tradable sectors like construction, real estate, domestic transport sector, telecommunication and retail banking.

“That is not going to give us a competitive country,”

“That is why we need a good plan in a knowledge based competitive social market economy. Because in Sri Lanka capitalism and socialism failed,”

“So we cannot go down the same road, we have to turn this ship around.” de Silva further said.

Sri Lanka’s exports earnings recorded a marginal decline of 0.1 per cent, year-on-year, to 883 million US dollars in May 2015, led by lower performance in tea, sea food, gem, diamond and jewellery exports, the Central bank data showed.

The island’s imports rose 17.2 percent to 1.585 million US dollars in May 2015 from a year earlier led by vehicle imports.