Sri Lanka lagging regions grow faster in 2016

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s lagging regions have grown faster than the most populated Western province in 2016, with former war-torn areas expanding economic output, official data show.

A breakdown of gross domestic product growth shows that Uva province, a relatively poor province grew 12.4 percent increasing its share of total GDP to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent.

Uva had increased its share of industry to 27.4 percent from 25.4 percent, while agriculture fell to 13.1 percent from 14.7 percent.

The Western province, which is most open the world, grew at 7.6 percent, up from only 1.6 percent a year earlier. Its share fell to 39.7 percent from 3.9.9 percent in 2015. Higher growth in the coastal regions in countries like China have helped help drive up output in the hinterlands.

Economists had warned that Sri Lanka’s economy had become less open over the last decade.

Sri Lanka’s Northern province, a former war zone, grew 9.5 percent, down from 11.1 percent, increasing its output share to 4.2 percent.

After the Western province, the North Western province produced the second highest output of 10.7 percent, up from 10.6 percent.

The Eastern Province, a former war zone grew 8.9 percent, making marginal gains.

There are strong attempts by interventionists to stop the growth in the North Western province by halting the deployment t of former coconut land to more productive uses.

There are also other regulations preventing the growth of lagging regions, including regulations preventing land from being switched to cash crops. (Colombo/Oct31/2017)





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