Colombo : India and Japan are collaborating to put Sri Lanka on a sustainable growth trajectory for a structural shift.
Pathfinder Foundation proposed a medium and long-term strategy for the economic transformation of Sri Lanka going through a financial crisis with Indo-Japanese collaboration.
The Official Launch of the Report on "A Medium and Long-term Strategy for Indo-Japanese Collaboration to Support the Economic Transformation of Sri Lanka", prepared by the Pathfinder Foundation with the assistance of a panel of experts, was held on March 29th at the Taj Samudra, Colombo. Ali Sabri, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was the event's chief guest, with Gopal Bagley, High Commissioner of India and Mizukoshi Hideaki, Ambassador of Japan, gracing the occasion, reading the Pathfinder Foundation press release.
The event was organized in collaboration with the International Trade Center (ITC), Geneva and attended by representatives from several government and private sector agencies.
The report suggested a strategic response to transforming the economy, focusing on four priority sectors to put Sri Lanka on a sustainable growth trajectory.
In his welcome remarks, Chairman Bernard Goonetilleke, while thanking all the experts who contributed to the report, highlighted that two countries - India and Japan as very close development partners of Sri Lanka, who have much to contribute to reviving Sri Lanka's economy.
He added, "India's interest in the welfare of the country and its people was evident in granting generous credit and other facilities amounting to almost 4.0 billion US dollars in the recent past to overcome the economic crisis. Likewise, Japan has been a country which had generously provided economic support going back many decades."
In his address, Sabry highlighted some important points for consideration. He urged all think tanks, such as Pathfinder Foundation, to look into areas a typical politician would not comprehend and push for necessary changes.
He also reiterated that a politician should have the humility to listen and learn from experts on the subject, encouraging think tanks to engage with the public and share populist policies, added the release.
Meanwhile, Bagley pointed out that Sri Lanka occupies a unique place in India's foreign policy mainly due to its neighbourhood-first policy of India. He added that India stands ready to assist Sri Lanka in overcoming the current economic crisis.
Hideaki also expressed his sincere hope that this year will be the beginning of an economic revival providing a springboard for the future development of Sri Lanka. He also mentioned that Japan had been a long-standing partner in Sri Lanka's socioeconomic development.
Before the report's launch, Dr Dayaratna Silva, Executive Director of the Pathfinder Foundation, introduced the 120 pages-long reports explaining its main thrust and the rationale for sector selection as the key drivers for the structural transformation of the economy.
Sector experts made presentations at the technical sessions covering the role of the four sectors in transforming the economy, existing policy framework gaps, and key recommendations for triangular cooperation, added the release.