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.
This study presents a review of the topics relevant to the debate on private sector participation in tertiary education. These include: the structure of the tertiary education sector; the legislation underlying the establishment of tertiary education establishments; and the current quality assurance and accreditation procedures for tertiary education institutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.