Thematic

Showing 10 Publication(s)
The Sri Lankan economy needs a better bureaucracy, not just a better Cabinet of Ministers

There are several causes to the problems facing Sri Lanka’s economy. The problem of bureaucratic inefficiency exemplified by this case study: finding information about trade regulations is a significant barrier to improving the economy in agricultural products. The poor performance in the supply of even basic information indicates the larger challenge of improving the bureaucracy.

Continue Reading
Fixing Sri Lanka’s Revenue Problem is a Priority

Taxes are the key source of government revenue. Normally, tax share as a percentage of GDP is expected to increase as per capita GDP rises. This Insight shows that in Sri Lanka, this is not the case; the country’s per capita GDP has been rising but the tax to GDP ratio has been falling. Sri Lanka needs to improve its tax revenue to ensure that the government has enough money to spend towards welfare and growth while not running the risks of high budget deficits and debt levels. The example of Georgia in the last decade points to a significant opportunity to reverse this puzzling and strangling trend.

Continue Reading
Accepting e-documents with e-signatures: A small step for government, a giant leap for the country

Improving export performance is a national priority for Sri Lanka. However, the room for exporters to improve their export competitiveness is significantly constrained by the time it takes to process export documentation at various Sri Lankan border agencies. As such, Sri Lanka can significantly improve the competitiveness of its exporters by reducing processing times at the border. A proven method in this regard is the use of Electronic Document (e-document) processing platforms for trade. Currently in Sri Lanka, the benefit of this particular opportunity is being hobbled by the non-acceptance of electronic signatures (e-signatures) despite most of the prerequisites and systems being in place. This policy note sets out the main findings of a study conducted by Verité Research on the non-acceptance of e-signatures in Sri Lanka.

Continue Reading
Sri Lanka’s Domestic Barriers to Trade: Case Studies of Agricultural Exports

In the recent past, Sri Lanka has focused on negotiating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as a means to revive its export sector. FTAs address external barriers that Sri Lankan exporters face in the importing country. However, trade barriers are found not only at the border of the importing country, but also at the border of the exporting country. Using agriculture products as case studies, this study identifies such domestic barriers. Findings reveal that domestic barriers to trade significantly undermine the export capacity and competitiveness of Sri Lankan exports. Hence, addressing them is important to unleash the country’s export potential.

Continue Reading
Facilitating The Registration Of Trademarks A Step towards Creating Internationally Recognised Sri Lankan Brands

The Madrid Protocol is a simplified global system for registering trademarks abroad. It eases trademark registration abroad for Sri Lankan businesses. Sri Lanka is looking to complete accession to the Madrid Protocol by the end of 2017 or early 2018. However, accession to the Madrid Protocol will not necessarily help address the related challenges faced by Sri Lankan business; the challenge of registering trademarks in Sri Lanka. Verité has conducted research on the challenges faced in the process of registering trademarks in Sri Lanka and how these challenges undermine the benefits of the proposed accession to the Madrid Protocol. This policy brief presents an analysis of these issues and provides recommendations to overcome the identified obstacles.

Continue Reading
E-Government Procurement: Enabling Business through Efficient Systems

Public procurement is a key instrument through which governments deliver important social and economic goods to citizens. Efficient and accountable public procurement enables better utilisation of public funds, and in better public goods and services. Strengthening public procurement in Sri Lanka requires enhancing its efficiency, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness. E-procurement offers the government major efficiency gains, cost-savings, higher value for money and better fiscal management.

Continue Reading
E-Government Procurement: Enabling Business through Efficient Systems January (Sinhala Edition)

Public procurement is a key instrument through which governments deliver important social and economic goods to citizens. Efficient and accountable public procurement enables better utilisation of public funds, and in better public goods and services. Strengthening public procurement in Sri Lanka requires enhancing its efficiency, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness. E-procurement offers the government major efficiency gains, cost-savings, higher value for money and better fiscal management.

Continue Reading
Trademark Registration: From Colombo to Madrid

The Madrid Protocol is a global mechanism for registering trademarks outside one’s home country. It reduces the time, inconvenience and cost incurred by companies attempting to ensure international recognition and protection of their trademarks. In the 2016 budget, the Government of Sri Lanka, allocated LKR 100 million to speed up accession to the Madrid Protocol. This was a positive response to a long-standing request of Sri Lankan exporters. It will assist and encourage Sri Lankan exporters to invest in branding and trade-marks in their market strategy and growth. This insight shows that the path to Madrid, and its benefits for Sri Lankan exporters, faces a singularly daunting pothole. That pothole is in Colombo, and is created by very low level of trademarks registered each year despite the increase in the number of applications and the extensive delays in processing applications by the public institution responsible for registering trademarks. A path to ‘Madrid’ is not enough, the pothole in Colombo needs a separate solution.

Continue Reading
Cigarette Taxes Need Parliament’s Oversight

Every year, on the 31st of May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners mark World No Tobacco Day. This day is set apart to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. According to WHO “Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke”. This is not just a global problem but also a problem for Sri Lanka. Due to poor management of taxation not only have cigarettes become more affordable, but the tax share of the under-priced cigarettes has also declined. Two things have resulted from that: first, consumption of cigarettes have begun to increase (it went up by almost 10% in 2015). Second, potential tax revenues are being lost to government and transferred as income to the producer. This is both a health issue and an issue of public finance for Sri Lanka. Therefore, the Sri Lankan parliament has a responsibility to oversee the taxation measures and address the bureaucratic discretion that is eroding the benefits of public health and public finance.

Continue Reading