Sri Lanka opposition to boost export access, education: Eran

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – An administration by Sri Lanka’s opposition will expand export access, boost productivity with more investment in skills, education and knowledge, a senior United National Party official said.

Eran Wickramaratne said export access to the United States will be expanded and access to European markets will be re-opened by regaining a Generalised System of Preferences plus benefits, if the opposition came to power.

"Our Foreign policy will be aligned to protect our markets," Wickramaratne told a business forum in Colombo where they met opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe.

"GSP+ and Fisheries markets in Europe will be pursued with vigour.  The future lies in the efficiency & productivity of the economy."

Separately Wickramasinghe said Sri Lanka will comply with ICCPR, an international protocol which makes is difficult for states and rulers to abuse citizens with their coercive powers and the bullet and gives powers for individual citizens to get justice through the court system.

Wickramaratne, a former banker said at there was a slowdown in credit and questioned a regulatory driven consolidation plan.

"The private sector has had little confidence to invest," Wickramaratne said.  "Consolidation of banks does not solve the confidence problem.  We are for consolidation of the financial sector but not for Government coerced consolidation."

He said mothers were working abroad in unsafe conditions due to poor pay at home.

Analysts say a key reason for poor pay is currency depreciation, a deadly Mercantilist policy that became popular after the Second World War (except in export power houses like Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore) where mass impoverishment was done by expansionist state policy.

Currency depreciation, in addition to destroying lifetime savings and in the process capital available for investment and productivity growth, gave unreasonable profits to exporters by destroying real wages, taking away their incentive to boost productivity with capital investment.





Currency depreciating countries destroyed domestic consumption power with an impoverished workforce, making exports the only way to boost economic activity.

Meanwhile Wickramaratne said there will be more investments in education to boost skills of the workforce. Agriculture productivity will also be raised with more knowledge and skills he said.

Sri Lanka’s business process outsourcing industry was first built out of IT graduates coming out of private affiliated colleges and an entire high end knowledge processing industry has been built with accounting and legal professionals coming out of non-state professional associations.

In Sri Lanka the state kept a monopoly in degree awarding but the people managed to produce world class human resources in areas where freedom was given for them to educate themselves.

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