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'On-going structural changes vital for growth'

The eighth International Research Conference of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was held at the John Exter International Conference Hall of the Central Bank recently. Last year's conference was held on the theme 'Global Economic Challenges and Implications for Macroeconomic Policy Making in Emerging Market Economies'.

The conference brought together members of academia, government institutions, policy and research institutions.

Former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank, Prof. Justin Yifu Lin delivered the keynote address titled 'Development Strategy, Development Performance and Macro Stability: A New Structural Economics Perspective'.

Prof. Lin outlined modern income growth as a process of continuous structural change in technology and industry to increase labour productivity and investment in soft and hard infrastructure in the economy, to help reduce transaction costs.

He said low-income and middle-income traps are outcomes of a country's inability to generate dynamic structural changes, which results in slower growth in developing countries.

The professor's prescription of 'new' structural economics to achieve dynamic growth emphasises the reliance of a country on its comparative advantage, supported by a competitive market framework and the participation of the government as a facilitator.

Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran discussed new elements of the global financial economic architecture in the aftermath of the global recession.

The conference organised by the Economic Research Department of the Central Bank, stimulates research on current themes while providing a forum for researchers of central banks, monetary authorities, universities and other research institutions to present recent theoretical and empirical work on issues relating to central banking and the macro economy.

Since its launch in 2008, the International Research Conference has attracted scholars from across the globe and featured addresses by Central bankers, eminent academics, and policy makers.

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