Despite an increasing number of natural disasters in recent years, Sri Lanka suffers from a limited uptake of natural disaster insurance coverage. Sri Lanka’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are especially vulnerable to the impact of such disasters. While there are many factors that contribute to the limited use of natural disaster insurance in Sri Lanka, our policy note identifies the lack of accessible information, especially in the vernacular, to be one of the primary causes. Our findings revealed that information on natural disaster insurance is provided almost exclusively in English by private insurance companies as well as state provided welfare schemes. Given that the areas affected by natural disasters outside Colombo have an English literacy rate below 30%, provisions of such information in the vernacular can significantly help SMEs tap into the benefits of natural disaster insurance.
There are three false claims that have been prevalent in print media, in relation to the tax and price increases of cigarettes in the last quarter of 2016. The claims were that (i) tax revenue reduced, (ii) beedi consumption increased, and (iii) CTC lost economic value. The Insight provides analysis that contests all three claims.
Sri Lanka is a signatory to the International Treaty, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control since 2003. It has not yet implemented the provisions relating to protecting tobacco policy from vested interests. This Insight explores the consequences of not doing so and meaningful steps that can be taken towards mitigating the influence of vested interests.
Analysis of past tax and price data reveals two aspects of cigarette pricing that are hidden from media reporting: first, net-of-tax price grew at a faster rate than the tax per cigarette; second, that the government’s tax share of the cigarette price has fallen over time.
Sri Lanka and China decided to enter into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in August 2013 to further expand trade between the two countries. Technical negotiations, which officially commenced in September 2014, are still underway with five rounds of negotiations having been concluded. China is the world’s second largest economy, its largest exporter and its second largest importer. For a small market economy like Sri Lanka, an agreement with a country such as China presents exciting opportunities as well as daunting challenges. This briefing note provides an assessment of the challenges and opportunities that Sri Lanka is likely to face in operating under an FTA with China. Potential challenges and opportunities have been identified by analysing the key features of China’s existing FTAs with other countries.
The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), ranks the competitiveness of economies. The GCI score is calculated using two types of indicators: objective (or measurable) indicators and sentiment (or subjective) indicators. While Sri Lanka has experienced a steady increase in the objective indicators, the steep decline in sentiment indicators have overshadowed these improvements, driving down the country’s overall score and rank.
Sri Lanka’s exports are heavily concentrated on a few markets and a few products. The government’s recognition of export diversification as an important policy strategy to revive exports, indicates that both market and product concentration are seen as critical bottlenecks in this regard. This report compares and contrasts Sri Lanka’s export product and market concentration and its export composition against that of the world and selected Asian economies. The objective of this brief analysis is to understand where Sri Lanka stands in the world and in comparison to its neighbours that have performed well in terms of export concentration and composition.
Analysis of past budgets reveal large deviations between budgeted allocations and actual expenditure. This shows that expectations set by the government during the budget speech are not honoured. This Insight analyses budgeting on social services and the rural economy to demonstrate the extent of deviations in promised allocations and actual expenditure. Results suggest that when precise expenditure is not tangible, it is easier to renege on budget promises.