Sri Lanka has long served as an important strategic destination in the Indian Ocean, catering to merchants and travellers from South-east Asia, India, the Middle East and East Africa. Formerly known as Ceylon, the island was visited and admired by the likes of Marco Polo, who called it “the finest island of its size in the world”, well before the arrival of imperialist nations. A diverse colonial history, including Portuguese, Dutch and British influence, is visible across Sri Lanka today,…
From The Report: Sri Lanka 2017
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Sri Lanka has emerged from its long internal conflict, but with the post-war euphoria behind it, a number of structural challenges remain that will determine the country’s trajectory as it pushes forward. The state’s involvement in large parts of the economy could present stumbling blocks to a number of liberalising economic reforms that Sri Lanka is likely to need if it is to increase its competitiveness in international markets. While there has been a wait-and-see approach within Sri Lanka’s private sector, the long-term impact is expected to be positive. The reinstatement of GSP+ benefits should also see state-owned enterprises release more power to the private sector to reap all potential benefits, expand revenue streams and repay creditors more quickly.
This chapter contains interviews with President Maithripala Sirisena; and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.