Sri Lankan industrialists demand protection

Dec 19, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lankan industrialists and leftwing politicians have called for protection as an opening economy that is integrating with the world threatens to give cheaper goods to consumers and put them out of business. However, Commerce Department officials said the opening up of the economy in recent years had given the country greater access to world markets and helped attract more investments, the benefits of which reach more people.

Protection from globalization

"Globalisation can have benefits but we must protect ourselves from its ill effects," said Ariyaseela Wickremanayake, chairman of the Maubima Lanka Foundation, a movement to promote domestic production and consumption of local products.

"Sri Lanka is too weak to compete against more powerful trading nations without protecting its domestic economy."

Wickremenayake, who has investments in shipping and sugar plantations, said the island's trade gap was widening because of too many imports of products that can be made or grown in the island.

"We can grow and produce more products like rice, milk and sugar in the country," he told a public meeting held to raise awareness on the Sri Lankan economy and the bilateral and multilatera

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