Home Contact Us  

South Asia - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4637, 1 September 2014

Dateline Colombo

Sri Lanka and China: Towards Innovation Driven Economies
Asanga Abeyagoonasekera
Executive Director, LKIIRSS, Sri Lanka.

September begins with summer Davos in Tianjin, China, themed, ‘Creating Value through Innovation’; and over 1,500 participants from 90 countries will be in attendance. The discussion will be on how innovation can generate more and better value for all stakeholders of our society. China has given top priority for innovation. Last year too, the theme for the same conference was on innovation. Recently, presiding over a meeting of the Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping said the Chinese military must make great leaps in development and innovation so as to close the gap with its better-developed peers in the world. He urged the military to innovate in military strategies and management. This statement is a clear indication of China’s development of its military strength. Growth in innovation, research and development has become a top priority for the Chinese economy.

Last week, at the National IT conference, this author spoke on a similar topic: Sri Lanka’s journey towards an innovation driven economy. The topic was discussed along with talks on the bottlenecks, such as low budget allocation for research and development, plaguing the industry In Sri Lanka, a very nominal amount of annual expenditure – 0.5 per cent – is allocated for research and development purposes. There are many research institutes in the country without proper funding. While the country is moving towards a five hub development strategy, it is important to focus on improving the research and development sector.

According to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's policy statement, it has been envisaged to make the country a regional hub in five areas. This will transform Sri Lanka into a strategically important economic center. The five hubs are: knowledge hub, commercial hub, maritime hub, aviation hub and an energy hub. The idea is to use the geographically strategic position of the country as an advantage to achieve the five hub status. Sri Lanka’s post war economic growth rate is positive and the country is moving from a factor driven economy to an efficiency driven economy.

On this journey it is important to concentrate on strengthening the second layer that includes institutions of the society. Government institutions and administration has to be strengthened to achieve results from the five hub development strategy. There are issues such as corruption, governance problems and the need to transform loss-making public institutions into profit-making ones. These are only some of the challenges the government has to overcome.

To achieve the status of a knowledge hub, Colombo needs to improve its education sector, especially at a university level. 40 per cent of high school students fail mathematics, and we need to improve the quality of teachers and facilities required for schools. Many students are unable to enroll in universities owing to lack of seats; this needs to change.

If Sri Lanka continues with its present growth rate for the next two decades, the country could become a high income nation. It's important to develop the five hubs. Many regional nations promote the hub concept as well, and, as a result, the competition for this status will be very high.

Hambantota port, being developed with Chinese assistance, will play a pivotal role owing to its location at the center of the Maritime Silk Road.. As the aviation hub, Sri Lanka has already developed the second International Airport in the south of the Island. The significant increase of tourist inflows, from 200,000 to a 10, 00,000 within few years after the war is a major achievement.

The Chinese president’s historical visit with 150 top officials and business leaders will be another significant event in September. The Sri Lanka-China Free Trade Agreement, to be signed during the president’s visit will be an iconic moment and a leap forward for the relationship of both nations in over 60 years. The agreement is supposed to cover wide areas such as trade, services, tariffs, market access in China, diversifying Sri Lanka’s exports and overall enhancement of the country's export potential. China is the 18th export market for Sri Lanka, with $121 million in exports and imports worth $3 billion. To Sri Lanka, this is an extremely unfavorable trade deficit that needs to be addressed.

Sri Lanka is moving towards becoming a higher income nation by 2040 with a per capita estimation of above $22,000. China and Sri Lanka with their close strategic collaborations should work towards moving from efficiency driven economies to an innovation driven economies. As the entire focus is on economic development, it is also important to focus on reconciliation to create a harmonious society in Sri Lanka. The government could consider initiating a new ministry for reconciliation and diaspora affairs to undertake the new mandate of promoting, designing and implementing reconciliation efforts. The development of strategies to re-engage with the disconnected Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora will be another important area the new ministry could work on. 

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


Browse by Publications

Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Naxalite Violence 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Changing Political Horizons in Sri Lanka?

The Geopolitics of Floating Bases and the New World Order

Monuments Over Mortality?

Sri Lanka: Leveraging the Politics of Geography

The Forgotten Professions: The Plight of a Nation

Crisis and Foresight Analysis

Steering Co-operation Across Oceans

Sri Lanka: National Interests in a Globalised World

Re-building Sri Lanka: An Island at a Crossroads

Forecast 2017: Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Foreign Policy: Diaspora and Lobbying

Securing Sri Lanka's National Interests

Understanding our “Blindspot” to Make Peacebuilding Comprehensive

Oceans of (Dis)trust

Death and Democracy

The Island and the Mainland: Impact of Fisheries on Indo-Lanka Relations

New Delhi-Tamil Nadu Relations and India’s Sri Lanka Policy

Remembering Tagore in Turbulent Times

Politics of Promise: Between Sirisena and Rajapaksa

Conflict to Co-existence: Debating Heritage and Homogenisation

Forecast 2016: A Roadmap for Sri Lanka

China Prepares for a Modern War

Riot and Responsibility: Governance in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka and the World: Terrorism and Effective Reconciliation

Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome

Y! MyWeb
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2018
 2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010
 2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002
 2001  2000  1999  1998  1997

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2018, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.