Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 14 August 2016





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Trade pacts with Asian countries in pipeline

A series of trade pacts will be negotiated with many Asian countries, the next global economic power house, to boost trade, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the inaugural session of the Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit 2016 in Colombo on Thursday.

He said negotiations on Free Trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea are in the pipeline and added that discussions in this regard will commence soon.

“The Economic and Technology Cooperation agreement with India will be in place by the end of this year ensuring a win-win situation for both countries. Sri Lanka will hopefully regain the GSP Plus trade concession from the European Union next year,” the Prime Minister said.

However, Sri Lanka will not be able to benefit from the GSP Plus concessions for too long as it graduates to an upper middle income country which puts it off from the eligibility criteria for the trade concessions.

“Water, energy and most importantly human resource are major challenges for Sri Lanka on the road to economic development. Around 60 percent of the students stop their education after the Ordinary Level Examination. We are looking at an Education and Employment Act to develop human capital which will improve the quality of life of all employees,” Wickremesinghe said.

It is estimated that a large number of school dropouts end up as trishaw drivers. The recent Economic Summit in Colombo focused on the need for a national policy to harness the talents of school dropouts with programs that will direct them to vocational training.

The Prime Minister said measures will be taken to enhance female participation in the workforce through vibrant private-public participation. There are one million skilled workers working outside Sri Lanka. “We need to pay at least US$ 300 per month to make use of their skills in Sri Lanka. We need to train workers for our country and not for others.”

“Our focus now is to bring in economic stability and ensure a better life style with higher income for people who were suffering for over 30 years due to the war.

We have the distinct advantage of being a country in the middle of the Indian ocean. Second, the strong democratic political system in the country and third, human resource. The unity government is committed to create a strong social market economy,” he said.

Speaking via video tele conference, Asian Development Bank Vice President (Operations) Wencai Zhang said Sri Lanka stands up in South Asia on human capital development and human development indicators. Human Capital development is vital for Sri Lanka to excel in the global market. It needs strong leadership for implementing measures for human capital development.

The ADB will support initiatives in Sri Lanka for human resource development.

Conference Chair, Dr. Amit Dar said skills development is a critical factor for Sri Lanka which is ranked 73 in the global competitiveness index. Skills development will help improve competitiveness, reduce poverty and boost development. The policy makers must focus on soft, cognitive and job specific skills development. Investing in early childhood development programs is vital to enhance employees contribution to economic growth.

“Beginning early in life with skills development in childhood is critical for a country. Additional years in pre-school leads to 16 to 17 percent growth in productivity and economic development in a country,” he said.

Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Korea are good examples for skills development. Raising the productivity of the informal sector is crucial for economic growth. Mexico is a classic example of enhancing productivity of the informal sector.



eMobile Adz

| News | Editorial | Business | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | World | Obituaries | Junior |


Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2016 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor